Brianna Adams (4th Quarter, 2009)

4th Quarter, 2009
Law Enforcement Scholarship
Brianna Adams

I am a graduate of Lemoore High School in Lemoore, California.  I am currently a student at California State University – Fresno where I am majoring in Forensic Behavioral Science.  I plan to become an FBI Agent in the future.

A Portion of Brianna’s Winning Essay:

My name is Brianna Adams. I am a 17-year-old currently enrolled in Lemoore High School and West Hills Community College in Lemoore, CA. So far, my entire 17 years in this world has led me towards the path of becoming a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). I have dreamed of this career since I was a child and have already taken steps to realizing this dream. Although I am still in high school, I am well on my way to reaching my goals.

Brianna Adams

For an aspiring FBI Agent, growing up in a family of law enforcement officers definitely has its advantages. Because many of my family members take on exciting, yet dangerous jobs such as Police Officers, Parole Agent, Correctional Officers, California Highway Patrolmen, and Military personnel, I have grown up with a desire to enter law enforcement. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to be an FBI Agent around the first grade. When I was 10-years-old, I dressed up as a FBI Special Agent for Halloween. My dad made me the costume, complete with a tactical vest and badge. Not only was it one of my favorite costumes, it inspired me to create a very interesting 6th grade science fair project. While other kids made erupting volcanoes with baking soda or displayed germs in a Petri dish, I conducted an experiment on latent fingerprints for my project called “Who Stole the Cookie?” where I used my younger siblings as “suspects” and a glass of milk as my “evidence”. This project won me a first place ribbon and motivated me to do more with my interest in criminology.

As I entered middle school and high school, I took multiple career aptitude tests which always resulted in law enforcement jobs being at the top of my list. FBI Agent always ranked in the top five careers. In order to reach my goal and get me ahead of my current peers and future competition, I have been attending college classes in conjunction with my high school classes. I am currently on track to graduate with an Associate’s of Arts degree in Administration of Justice at approximately the same time as I receive my high school diploma. This will allow me enter the University system as a junior instead of a freshman. And since I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s degree at the age of 20, I will be too young to apply for the FBI (the minimum age is 23).  This will also allow me to use those extra two to three years to earn my Masters in Criminology with an emphasis on Forensic Behavioral Science.  This time will also allow me to gain valuable work experience as an intern or part-time employee with a law enforcement agency.

One of my biggest obstacles in choosing my future career path was figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to be in the FBI but after I did some research I became overwhelmed with the number of different jobs they offered. I watched shows such as “FBI Files” and “Hard Evidence”, but those shows didn’t give me too much insight in what it is really like to be in the FBI. In order to get more information about the different career paths in the FBI and law enforcement professions, my dad offered me the opportunity to meet with different law enforcement professionals in the fields that I was interested in.

The first professional I met was California State University Fresno’s Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Eric Person. Dr. Person runs the Forensic Chemistry program and works closely with the Department of Justice Forensic lab that was located on the Fresno State campus. He discussed the difference between “real life CSI” versus “TV CSI” and the career opportunities in the field of forensic chemistry. He gave me information on the typical day in the life of a forensic scientist and showed me the labs and special equipment that the DOJ uses for DNA and other evidence processing.

The next professional I interviewed was Fresno State Professor and renowned criminal profiler, Dr. Candice Skrapec. She allowed me to sit in on one of her college classes where she was discussing serial killers. She met with me after her class and discussed career opportunities and mapped out educational plans for becoming a criminal profiler.

The most recent and my personal favorite professional that I met was Fresno based FBI Agent Jackie Neumann. She was a supervisor in the Homeland Security department of the FBI. We met at her FBI field office where she provided me with career brochures and insight on a day in the life of a FBI Agent. She discussed her FBI academy experience and how your “career path” in the FBI is determined. We discussed her experience in the Violent Crimes Unit and the difference between that and her current assignment. She told me of the exciting travel opportunities and benefits of being in the FBI. She gave me advice on how to get a “step up” on the competition and gave suggestions to better market myself for acceptance into the FBI. She suggested learning certain languages such as Korean, Arabic, or Chinese.  When Agent Neumann mentioned the unit that deals with internet crimes against children, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. Who wouldn’t want to protect children from online predators?

In addition to these professionals, I have learned much about the law enforcement profession from family members. My dad is a Parole Agent for High Risk Sex Offenders and is currently a member of the Fresno area Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. He tells me of the exciting and interesting aspects of being in the task force. Both my grandfathers and my step-dad are Correctional Officers who tell me “war stories” of 200 man riots, stabbings, and cell extractions. My dad’s two cousins are CHP Officers who tell me stories of high speed chases and traffic collision investigations. My uncle Lupe is a Police Officer in the town of Huron, CA. He tells me about his dealings with dangerous gang members and exciting foot chases. My Uncle Anthony recently finished his four years in the United States Army where he fought on the front lines in Iraq.

My goal for my future career in the Criminology field is to become one of the youngest members to join the FBI. When I am a FBI Agent, I want to work my way into a unit that investigates kidnappings, sex crimes against children, or internet predators. I will work hard to solve these cases and apprehend the responsible criminals. I hope to work with and join the ICAC Task Force in my area. After gaining valuable experience in the field, I will use those skills I develop to do what I can to protect all children.

One of my goals is to start up or be an active participant in any special teams or task forces that develop investigative tools to assist in all aspects of these crimes against children. I plan to use my field experience to help develop more accurate assessment tools to help identify early signs of potential sexual predators as well as tools to better profile existing predators. I would like to work on creating investigative tools for law enforcement to help detect and catch online predators. It will be designed with a prevention aspect that will focus on educating law enforcement officers, school employees, children and their families with information and tips on how to avoid online threats. Lessons will be developed that can be taught at schools and parent or staff meetings.

I also would like to develop a multi-stage program that can assist known sex offenders in suppressing their urges in an effort to prevent relapse. Eventually, after many years of working in the FBI, I plan on using my experience and skills that I have learned to teach others. Like Dr. Skrapec, I would like to teach future law enforcement officers and investigators how to effectively use these tools to prevent crimes against children. I may reach this goal by teaching at a University or maybe becoming an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. By the time I reach this stage of my career, I will already have many years of experience. I want to be able to convert that experience into a stable base of knowledge for future law enforcement professionals who will be in the same boat I am in right now.

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