Not many teenagers today can go without their cell phones for an entire week, but a local teen did just that and more for a chance at experiencing a glimpse of his possible future.
Noah Smithson, the 16-year-old son of Billy and April Smithson of Ravenswood, recently participated in the West Virginia State Police Junior Trooper Academy. Smithson, who will be a junior at Ravenswood High School, was nominated by retired trooper D. W. Skeen.
The West Virginia State Police Junior Trooper Academy’s primary purpose is to provide students, who are interested in a career in law enforcement or a related field, a hands-on view of the West Virginia State Police.
“I wanted to participate in this program because I’ve had an interest in law enforcement for a while now,” Smithson said. “I thought the academy would give me a leg up.”
Although the week-long academy is not for the faint of heart, Smithson said if a person is tough enough, it is something he recommends anyone interested in the field to try.
“My experience at the academy was something different from what I expected,” Smithson said. “We got yelled at, had to make our beds the right way or they got ripped off and we had to start over, and we had to do physical training.”
The physical aspect of any program can be challenging, but Smithson said it has made him want to continue now that he is back at home.
“At first, I didn’t enjoy it because I didn’t think I could do it, but then I started seeing the benefits of the program and realized I could finish it,” Smithson said. “I think my favorite part was either how in shape I was when I got back or how motivated I was to go out and keep getting myself in better shape after I got home.”
Smithson graduated earning his diploma at a ceremony held on Friday, July 12 at West Virginia State University.
“I’m still trying to decide if this is the career path I want to officially take,” Smithson said. “I know If I do decide to do it, I’m glad I have this academy experience.”