City Academy 


June 14, 2017

Salt Lake City—Every senior student from City Academy must complete a service learning internship in order to graduate from the tuition-free charter school.  According to City Academy Executive Director Sonia Woodbury, “Our internship program is just one of the many ways that we use to help our students become a part of the community.  Plus, experiences gained through our programs can really give students exposure to careers they may want to pursue in the future.”

One example of an internship can be found with City Academy student, Cade Denton.  Denton began his internship project last spring.

Denton wrote, “My internship project is becoming an ambassador for FBI. I wanted to not only learn what I, as an individual with limited power, can do to stop crimes against children, but also how I could spread awareness in order for others to learn what is happening and what they can do. I helped put on a Crimes Against Children Youth Symposium in February 2017 with the FBI and several other Ambassadors for Change, and then in October I attended and graduated from the FBI Teen Academy.”

On Oct. 20, Denton and 30 other high school students from Utah participated in a daylong teen academy with FBI agents to discuss cybercrime, domestic and international terrorism, human trafficking and civil rights.  The academy also examined specific gangs in Utah and a civil rights case that happened in the state.

One of the day’s activities involved a mock crime scene, in which a taped stick figure was surrounded by crime scene tape.  An empty water bottle, a cell phone and piece of rope were present at the scene, and students were asked to figure out what type of evidence they might find. 

According to an FBI spokesperson this is the first such academy the Salt Lake City branch of the FBI has hosted for teenagers.  The spokesperson added that the goal of the academy was to have students think about possible careers and provide insights into how the bureau operates.

Denton noted, “From this breathtaking opportunity, I have learned that the FBI is where I want to work, and that although I am only one person, I have greater power than I realize. I’ve learned what is going on in my own neighborhood, how to look for the signs of crimes being done against people, and what to do if a crime is being done. During the symposium in February, I actually got the chance to be on a panel with several adults, and speak of my own history. I learned that a symposium is a very good way to reach out to a community, because there are people who were taught and dedicate their lives to handle certain crimes, as well as individuals who have suffered, and can provide their unique experience and viewpoint to the audience. During the Teen Academy, I got a sneak peek how the bureau operates, and its inner workings. I spoke with several agents who are experts in their fields, on what they do, and how each crime is happening in today’s society. We were walked through a mock crime scene, and were taught how to pick up fingerprints as well as blood stains even after they have been cleaned up, and we were quizzed what can be found on different pieces of evidence. I learned so much more than the different careers the FBI has to offer, and the different crimes they solve and prosecute. I learned about my own community, and what I can do to make it a safer place.”

To be a part of the academy, students had to be between ages 15 and 18 and have some community involvement experience.  They were also selected based on GPA and a personal essay.