Student pursues career interest at FBI Teen Academy


Junior Sophia Pendergast proudly shows off her FBI certificate!

Addie Gerber, Staff Reporter

On Friday, April 28, Junior Sophia Pendergast got to join the FBI in their biannual program, the FBI Teen Academy.
In the FBI Teen Academy, Pendergast got to stay in their Sacramento Field Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with check-in at 7 a.m.
“It was a pretty amazing experience,” said Pendergast. “It makes me really excited for my future as I approach college and a career.”
After a long security check which included showing an ID, handing over her phone, and going through a metal detector, Pendergast was inside the building. Once inside, Pendergast got to meet many agents working in different fields. Along with meeting different FBI agents, Pendergast learned about the many different fields of the FBI through many different presentations and demonstrations.
“My favorite part of the day was watching a presentation on how the FBI uses technology to help solve crimes, and how criminals can use technology against us. It was really interesting, and a little scary, to see how easy it was for people on the internet to get information about you and in turn use it to manipulate you. It was a good lesson on safety regarding social media, and made me realize that catching online predators with the FBI may be a career that I’m interested in,” said Pendergast. “I also enjoyed the Forensics team demonstration. I really liked being able to see the different tactics that they used to find evidence, especially since I’ve learned about some of them in my Forensic Science class at school.”
After a long nine-hour day, Pendergast got to end it with a class photo and graduation ceremony.
The academy is open to juniors and seniors. Dates for the 2023-2024 program are not yet announced, but when they are, Burroughs students are encouraged to apply to get a first-hand look at a potential career path.
The application process is a challenging but rewarding one, said Pendergast. Applicants must fill out multiple documents, detailing GPA, club and community involvement, and general school information, all to be signed by a school official along with a form of general personal information, including a signed permission slip. Finally, applicants must write a two-page essay detailing why they want to participate in the program and what they will bring to their community after going to the academy.
A low GPA does not automatically disqualify you from being selected; however, the program is competitive.
“I would definitely recommend this to other students,” said Pendergast. “It was great being able to see what a potential career might look like, and the different paths that the FBI could take you down. “
She encourages next year’s juniors and seniors to participate.
“I think that it would be a good opportunity for those who are interested in a government career but don’t necessarily want to work on base or in the military,” said Pendergast.
If you are interested in joining law enforcement or in a government position, keep on the lookout for the next program to experience this extraordinary opportunity.