Education

Somers Student Completes FBI Teen Academy

Somers High School student Thomas Parisi with his mother, Laura, at the graduation of the FBI Teen Academy Camp. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall

SOMERS, N.Y. - Somers High School student Thomas Parisi was among 70 high school students to get a comprehensive look into the day-to-day operations of the FBI the week of July 17 through the Teen/Youth Academy offered by the FBI’s Community Outreach program.

Students are given several presentations covering topics like terrorism, cyber security, public corruption, polygraph exams, evidence response and SWAT. An awards ceremony concludes the week.

Through the experience, students gain a better understanding of the FBI’s operations and the various career paths and roles associated with the agency’s activity.

Sign Up for E-News

Admission to the program was based upon the applicant’s grades, school activities and community involvement, said Matt Parisi, Thomas’ father. The application included an essay based on his son’s review of an FBI website and video that educated teens about the dangers of opioid abuse. Aside from travel costs, admission to the academy was free.

Parisi was recommended for the program by Charlie Blaisdell, a colleague of his father’s and at Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, in White Plains. 

“At 101 years old, Mr. Blaisdell is one of the oldest living former FBI agents in the country,” Matt Parisi said. “Mr. Blaisdell was an FBI field agent during World War II and, among other interesting and storied career highlights, participated in the arrest of infamous Nazi spy, Erich Gimpel, at a Times Square newsstand on New Year’s Eve in 1943. 

Thomas Parisi said navigating public transit to get to the field office by himself every day was an adventure in itself, but his favorite part of the experience was getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the FBI’s surveillance, and hearing from agents about their real-life adventures. He said there were monitors streaming live feeds from as close as the field office’s parking lot, to locations across the globe.

“They were focusing on guys they were trying to track down,” Thomas Parisi said.

He said the surveillance cameras are just one in a series of tools used by the FBI to monitor the activity of people engaging in illegal affairs like drug trafficking. He said he learned how surveillance was used in conjunction with other tools to build a case against, and ultimately arrest, a group of drug dealers.

“They tracked them down with undercover agents and tracked them with drones and stuff,” Parisi explained.” They’re all in jail now.”

Parisi said those stories and seeing the drug-sniffing dogs were among his favorite aspects of the week, and that the immersive nature of the course held his attention. Free pizza for lunch was an added bonus.

His parents were happy that he participated as well.

“I think it’s nice to expose them to something that they wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to,” said Laura Parisi, Thomas’ mom. “I think it definitely raised an interest level in something he may not have thought of before, and I think it’s important to recognize how law enforcement works, how difficult it can be and how it takes different people from various backgrounds to work together to solve problems.”

For more information about the program, visit fbi.gov.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

'What Have They Done to My City?'

Note:  This column was published on 9/13/2012, my very first for The Somers Record.  It has special meaning for me; I have rerun it each year since in memory of our fallen heroes, family, friends and those of us left to wonder “why?”

On that bright, clear Sept. 11, 2001, morning, I was in our office cafeteria getting coffee when the cafeteria manager came out and said ...

It's a Small World

We recently took a little tourist trip to Gulliver’s Gate, an exhibit near Times Square that depicts world cities in small scale. We began our tour right in New York, since we were already on 44th Street. We had a much better view of the Manhattan skyline than from our hotel room. Little Italy is even littler than we thought, the High Line not as high, and traffic whizzed by beneath us in ...

Clarence and 'The Duke'

When my daughters were very young, we had a Weimaraner whose registered name was “Silver Wraith” but was called Clarence at home. Clarence was somewhat larger and heavier than most Wy’s, and stood much taller than I on his hind legs. He was a “mush” at heart and as big as he was still tried to sit in my lap. His saving grace was his great loyalty to, and protection ...

To Home School or Not to Home School

Dear Dr. Linda,

We’re only into the second week of school and our fifth-grade son, Joey, doesn’t want to go to school again. He’s never liked school. For years we blamed his teachers. Then we put him in private school and it didn’t get better.

He’s a bright kid and self-driven. When he’s home, he’s never bored. He’s not playing video games or ...

Man of Letters

Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about Pop’s penchant for writing Letters to the Editor…

MOM: Whatcha doin’ there, Pop?

POP: Writin’, Mom.

MOM: Writin’ what?

POP: A ...

A Shampoo by Any Other Name

“What’s in the bag?” I asked my mother as she got into the car. She had just come out of the hair salon and apparently had been talked into buying some high-end hair products.

“New shampoo,” she said with some excitement. “My old shampoo was terrible. It really dried out my hair.”

“What brand were you using?” I asked. She thought for a ...

Help the Monarch Butterfly

September 7, 2017

To the editor,

I was pleased to read the article about the “protect pollinators” stamp featuring the monarch butterfly (Aug. 17, “Championing the beauty of life”). My family and I have been raising monarch butterflies for the past five years after we learned of the decline in the population.

We start collecting eggs about the end of June, when the monarchs first ...

Tips to Offer Children with Poor Executive Function Skill

Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics can center on how to handle homework dilemmas to what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their children?” to ...