Two youth to FBI academy

Two youth to FBI academy
courtesy of Joe Kelleher

A local Bronx scout and a youth who volunteers much of his time to the community got to learn about a career in federal law enforcement and what it takes to be an FBI agent.

Pelham Garden’s youth John Tristan John, a member of Boy Scout Troop 333 at Villa Maria Academy, got to spend a week at the FBI Teen Academy, a prestigious program that introduces young people to the sophisticated methods and crime-fighting practices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Joe Kelleher, the president and chief operating officer of the Hutchinson Metro Center and president of the Bronx Council of Boy Scouts of America, held a question and answer session at the Hutch Metro Center on Wednesday, August 21 for John and another young man from Norwood, Luis Collazo, who took part in the academy early in August.

FBI agents who run the academy were on hand to take part in the celebration, which saw the two young man speaking about what they learned.

“I would hope that having attended this FBI Teen Academy that they would have a better understanding of the importance of law enforcement, and more importantly, what qualities and what it takes to be an FBI agent,” said Kelleher.

Kelleher said that he is very proud they were able to find a qualified candidate from among about 1200 Bronx scouts to be a part of the program.

Kelleher also took John’s achievement as an opportunity to promote scouting as an activity that can help youth build character and develop traits leading to greater success as adults.

“The scouting programs builds character and helps them achieve certain goals…a scout is always working towards their next goal, which sets up a good habit that they form at a young age and they take to the rest of their lives,” said Kelleher.

He thanked local businessman and former NYPD assistant commissioner Joe Ramos for alerting Kelleher and the Scouts to the FBI program.

Ramos said that he was pleased that through his contacts at the FBI, which he has maintained over the years from his days at the NYPD, he was able to help these youth take initiative and be a part of the program.

Both young men had to write essays to get into the program. In Collazo’s essay, he said that getting into the program would expose him “to a whole new set of ideas, procedures, career options, opportunities, and disciplines to which I was not previously aware.”

“It will also offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with federal law enforcement agencies,” he stated.

John stated in his essay that his desire to participate “stems from watching my family and friends who are active members of the law enforcement and social service community.”

“I am inspired by their dedication in helping others and protecting the community,” he stated.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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