Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office
Washington, DC 20535
Objective: To give high school students from around the country a behind-the-scenes look at the FBI’s programs and divisions.
In a Nutshell: Future Agents in Training (FAIT) is a weeklong program in early August for students interested in careers in law enforcement and the FBI. Participants travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in briefings, hands-on field training and re-enactments with FBI agents and staff members.
In addition to learning about careers in the FBI, students explore various agency programs and units in the Washington Field Office, including forensics, canine and SWAT teams. FBI agents and employees from each unit meet with the students and demonstrate how the agency uses its equipment and technology.
Feds-to-Be: An FBI SWAT Team member briefs Future Agent in Training (FAIT) participants on a mock takedown scenario at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
FAIT is one of several FBI community outreach programs based in the Washington Field Office. The office also coordinates privately funded outreach programs for elementary, middle and high school students in the Washington area.
The deadline for applying for this summer’s program is May 29.
Youth Served: High school students, ages 16 to 18, participate in the program. In 2008, a total of 41 students took part in FAIT, representing various ethnic, religious and geographic backgrounds. FAIT is highly selective because of the limited number of spots and its national applicant pool.
Where It Happens: FAIT is hosted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office in downtown Washington, D.C. Participants also visit FBI Headquarters in Washington and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
When It Began: FAIT was created in 2007 and initially served only students from Washington. Last year, the program expanded to accept youths from across the country.
Who Started It and Who Runs It: Joseph Persichini Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington office, was the main force in creating FAIT. A team of employees and agents from the Washington Field Office administer the program and provide hands-on training.
Overcoming Obstacles: The FBI has tried to attract a more diverse group of participants to FAIT each year, said Lindsay Godwin, a public affairs specialist who works closely with the program. To this end, the FBI has worked with religious and community groups to encourage youth from all backgrounds to apply.
Who Pays: The FBI funds FAIT as part of its community outreach efforts. The program is free, and hotel lodging is available at government rates for students and their families. Participants are responsible for paying travel expenses to Washington.
Youth Turn-On: Highlights for participants include helping to solve a mock bank robbery, observing how to give a polygraph test, and speaking with FBI agents in the field. Last year, youths met with George Piro, the FBI agent profiler who interviewed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after his capture in 2003.
Other high points are a private tour of the Capitol and a graduation ceremony that includes a meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Youth Turn-Off: Coming up with the money for travel and lodging expenses has proven difficult for some students admitted to the program, Godwin said.
Research Shows: No formal evaluation of FAIT has been performed because the program has been in place only a short time. In the future, the program may track how many alumni pursue law enforcement, study government in college, or choose civil service as a career.
Contact: Lindsay Godwin, public affairs specialist, (202) 278-3048, firstname.lastname@example.org.