Oregon teens get hands-on learning with Portland FBI during week-long academy

High school students from around the state are in Portland this week to learn the ins and outs of a career with the FBI.
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 10:39 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - High school students from around the state are in Portland this week to learn the ins and outs of a career with the FBI.

Forty-one students, chosen from an application pool of more than 140 candidates, are getting hands-on training at the Portland FBI offices in skills like processing a crime scene, interviewing subjects, testifying in court, and more.

They are also receiving lectures from professionals in various sectors of the FBI, including mediators and SWAT members.

For some of the students, like senior Eleanor Black from Roosevelt High School, a career in the field has been a lifelong dream.

“I’ve always been interested in forensic psychology and that stuff, and I thought it would be cool to get a look into a program that I might want to do when I get older and graduate,” she said.

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For senior Laith Essaid from Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering, it’s more of a recent interest.

“I’ve watched some TV shows, always was interested in what the FBI actually looks like,” he said. “This summer I wanted to explore what my job opportunities were in the area, so I filled out an application.”

Kieran Ramsey, the Special Agent in Charge of the Oregon FBI, said the program has been running for years and it’s a very competitive selection process.

“They’ll do certain activities today in terms of identifying a crime scene, starting to process it. They’ll actually do mock interviews, and furtherance of a mock investigation that’s tied to these crime scenes, and then we round it off with an actual mock trial,” Ramsey said.

Students said they were also impacted by the sessions they received from the career experts.

“We learned from SWAT, the behavioral group here that works and they deal with criminals, we’ve heard from people who work with international threats,” Essaid said.

“I thought the gang team was really cool,” Black added. “I live in a neighborhood where gang stuff is rampant and really an issue, so it was interesting to see how these things I see every day are combatted.”

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The goal is to encourage interest in public service and shine a light on the jobs available in the private sector.

The week-long academy has seemed to achieve those results over the years.

“Our community outreach specialist who is organizing this entire endeavor this week, went through this program 7 years ago,” Ramsey said.

Students attending this week said they won’t be far behind.

“The behavioral studies and the psychology department has looked really interesting to me,” Essaid said.

Black said the training has confirmed to her that a career in forensic psychology is truly what she wants.

“The stuff that they actually do is really important, and I want to help people, you know?” she said.

You can find more information about the Teen Academy here: Community Outreach — FBI