Howland senior has police aspirations

G-woman in the future

According to legend, the gangster, Machine Gun Kelly surrendered to FBI agents with these words, “Don’t shoot G-Man.” The nickname is now associated with the culture of the bureau. In the present era where the talent of all sexes is valued, female agents play prominent roles at the FBI.

This is a story of a Howland student enrolled in the Public Safety Program at Trumbull Career and Technical Center. She has aspirations of joining the top law enforcement agency in the country. If all goes according to her plan, she will be a G-Woman in the future.

From the time she was 8, Shylee Turner, a senior, harbored an interest in law enforcement.

“Men and women in law enforcement protect our communities. They were my earliest heroes. I’ve always wanted a career where I could help to make citizens safe,” she said.

As a cadet in the Public Safety program, Turner became intrigued with the possibility of having a career in the FBI. Her program instructor, Jim Cerenelli, provided her with an application packet for the Future Agents in Training Academy. This is a program specifically designed for high school students.

The seminar was held in Cleveland last summer. It provided participants with hands on training concerning Special Agent investigative tactics to include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, capturing criminals and solving cases.

Selection for the Future Agents Academy is very competitive in nature. Candidates must have excellent grades, possess outstanding character, demonstrate leadership both in and out of school and submit a qualifying essay for consideration. Only 20 percent of the applicants were accepted.

Cerenelli said it was a red letter day when Shylee received her acceptance letter, but he was not surprised by her selection.

“Shylee thrived in this endeavor because she has both the tools and the drive to succeed. This was a unique and special opportunity that enhanced her knowledge and capability in the field of law enforcement, but also introduced her to professional contacts that can help her to facilitate college level internships in the field. This is a step forward in realizing her ultimate goals of becoming an agent for the FBI,” Cerenelli said.

Cerenelli said that Shylee is the first Public Safety program student to be accepted into the FBI training academy for high school students.

Katie Wright, English teacher, said that Shylee is the type of student teachers loves to have in class.

“She walks into the classroom with a smile on her face, ready to learn. She is a leader who can be counted on to participate in class discussions and will help other students if they are struggling,” Wright said.

Wright related a story that sheds light on Turner’s character.

“One day she was short with me in class. I could tell something was wrong because she is never like that. Later that night I received an apology by e-mail telling me that it would never happen again. How many kids would do something like that?,” she said.

Shylee believes that her participation in Public Safety has reinforced the importance of self-discipline in her life.

“In criminaljustice, we wear uniforms and stand in formation for inspection. We are taught to resist being influenced by negative peers and to have the courage to deal with the consequences of our actions. I would strongly recommend the program to other students who are considering a career in law enforcement. Mr. Cerenelli, our instructor, is a former police captain. He has great credibility in the eyes of his students because he has been in the arena where we wish to go,” Shylee said.

Adversity can be our greatest teacher. Shylee Turner knows what it is like to face misfortune. She lost her father at a young age. She stated, “My family went through a lot and being the oldest sister, I had to stay strong for my younger siblings. I had to shape myself into a leader and understand that you can’t always see life as only about yourself. Family values are important to me.”

Shylee understands the challenges that await as she pursues her career. FBI agents must possess college degrees. There are many applicants for each position that is available.

Those who know Shylee are bullish about her potential. She is not a dreamer, but a worker. She prepares for tomorrow by doing the very best that she can today. Her acceptance into the FBI Training Academy is the direct result of the initiative she displayed.

No one has a crystal ball to predict the future, but most would agree that success is achieved by those who set worthwhile goals and who work diligently to reach them. Up to this point in her life, this is what Shylee Turner has done. And if she continues, it is not unreasonable to believe that in a coming decade, a fugitive will surrender to special agent Shylee Turner using these words, “Don’t shoot, G-Woman.”

Crawford is the academic supervisor at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.