CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Pittsburgh Field Office is now accepting applications for the 2022 Teen Academy Program.

This program is free for high school seniors with a GPA of 3.0 and higher. Students are able to apply for any of the four locations:

  • FBI Martinsburg, West Virginia, Teen Academy session will be on Oct. 4. Must apply by Aug. 26.
  • FBI Pittsburgh Teen Academy session will be on Oct. 13. Must apply by Sept. 2.
  • FBI Charleston, West Virginia, Teen Academy session will be on Oct. 25. Must apply by Sept. 16.
  • FBI Huntington, West Virginia, Teen Academy session will be on Oct. 26. Must apply by Sept. 16.

A parent or guardian signature will be required, along with an essay completed by applicants.

The program includes presentations on terrorism, public corruption, cybercrime, evidence response, SWAT, polygraph exams and other operations that take place in an FBI office. Students will participate in investigative tactics like interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and assisting with cases that professional staff, language specialists, intelligence analysts and special agents will help them take part in.

The Academy Program is part of the FBI’s Community Outreach Program, which works to address problems in society, relating to crime, drugs, gangs, terrorism and violence. The Outreach Program is managed by the Headquarters Division in Washington, D.C.

This is the second year of holding this eight-hour event in West Virginia, except this year, they have expanded to Huntington. There are 56 field offices in the FBI, each division has at least one community outreach specialist. Whitney Barnhart, the West Virginia Outreach Specialist, has been working in the FBI for 13 years and has been working for West Virginia for four years. When she moved to West Virginia, the “outreach specialist” position did not exist, but Barnhart worked closely with a Pittsburgh Outreach Specialist and realized the potential the state had for the position.

Once the position was created, she wanted to have the same programs that Pittsburgh had. In the first year, the program in had 30 students in Charleston and 12 in Martinsburg.

“This is a really good opportunity to talk with the youth and just expose the to ways they can take a role and making a difference in their community. One thing I’ve seen as a resident here, of West Virginia, for a couple years, is that the people are extremely passionate about their towns and their state. They’re proud to be from West Virginia and they don’t want crime in their neighborhood and community,” Barnhart said.

If a student is interested in applying for any of the Teen Academy programs, at any location, they can find the applications and more information here.