Sarah Wennersten, 15, Grace Academy sophomore

Big summer: Spent a week on the East Coast at the FBI National Academy Associates Youth Leadership Program, which is sponsored by the professional association of graduates of the FBI National Academy for state and local law enforcement officers. Chosen from a long list of applicants as lone representative from Washington state.

Tough process: Applicants had to have demonstrated leadership and excellent character, submit an essay, pass an oral interview and have above average grades. The program was at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, with 50 students from around the country and from Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Particularly enjoyed meeting teens from around the country and the world.

Busy week: Curriculum included a long list of classes in setting goals, leadership qualities, religion, culture and comparative ideology, ethical decision-making, integrity, situational leadership, juvenile justice in America, physical training and a tour of FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Visit to FBI headquarters was a highlight.

Following Dad: Has had a life-long interest in law enforcement. Her father is a Marysville police officer and she hopes to follow in his footsteps, eventually becoming a detective after earning her way on a patrol beat. “I love to help people and I would like a job that I would enjoy doing and one that would keep me a little bit active.”

Grateful: Loves the fact that she got to grow up in the same home, attend the same school and live in the same community her whole life. Particularly enjoyed backpacking trips with her family.

Favorite book: The Bible

School life: Has attended Grace Academy since kindergarten. “I’m a lifer. I like how they are smaller. High school will be less than 100 (students). You know everybody. You get to interact at a different level than in a class of 1,000. The teachers are (great). They are the most Godly people and they invest in your life. They genuinely want you to succeed.”

School leader: Is part of the school leadership council at her school, helping students and faculty connect. “We see things as we interact with all of them that teachers might not.”

Three sports: Plays soccer, basketball and runs track. Basketball is her favorite.

Won’t back down: Plays midfield on her school’s co-ed soccer team. It can be a challenge when she faces senior boys for other teams. “It feels pretty good when you get to knock them to the ground for the five times you get knocked to the ground.”

Deer memories: Likes to go fishing and hunting with her dad. “We get a couple deer and that feeds us the whole year. We don’t buy a ton of hamburger. Most of our meat is venison.”

Musically inclined: Plays bass guitar and the harmonica. Wants to be able to play guitar for her youth group worship team. Finds harmonica to be an expressive instrument from blues to bliss.

Pet pals: Has a small dog named Snickers and a fish named Bozo.

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