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Hedgesville High School student accepts not-so-secret mission

Kelsey Chaney is going to a leadership training camp at the FBI National Academy

May 06, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Kelsey Chaney, a Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School sophomore is one of 60 students attending an eight-day leadership training camp for 14- to-16-year olds at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Kelsey Chaney, a Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School sophomore is one of 60 students attending an eight-day leadership training camp for 14- to-16-year olds at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. — Kelsey Chaney, a Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School sophomore, is about to follow her grandfather and father into the FBI Academy, but she doubts that her ultimate goal will be a career in law enforcement.

Kelsey, 15, is leaning toward the fields of public relations or communications with an eye on attending Georgetown University.

She said her father, Mark Chaney, a Secret Service agent, encouraged her to apply for the eight-day leadership training camp for 14- to-16-year olds at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. The camp, part of the FBI National Academy Associates 2012 Youth Leadership Program, takes place June 20 to 28.

She more than meets the camp entrance qualifications — above-average academic standards and good citizenship. Kelsey’s grade-point-average is 4.1 and she’ll begin her junior year as class vice president.

She also attended a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership conference last summer and will return for a second one this year.

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Another admission requirement for the camp was writing a two-page essay on leadership, which she summed up as “doing what’s right, not what’s popular.”

Kelsey said she likes “being in charge.” She also believes that she has the qualities that make her a natural leader “without being bossy.”

“Kelsey doesn’t follow commands very well. She’s always been precocious,” said her mother, Stacey Chaney, a former staffer in President George H.W. Bush’s White House, now a substitute teacher and stay-at-home mom with her three children, including two sons, 18 and 11. The family lives in Falling Waters.

Stacey Chaney said her late father, Thomas DelGrosso, who is Kelsey’s grandfather, retired as director of criminal investigations for the state of South Dakota.

Kelsey is one of 60 students attending the FBI camp. While it’s not limited just to youths interested in law-enforcement careers, students “should possess a desire to gain knowledge of the American system of criminal justice, police organization and function and operation of criminal courts,” according to a news release about the camp.

The week’s activities will include workouts in the gym at 5:30 a.m., seminars, lectures, and tours of museums and sites inWashington, D.C.Students will be given exams on what they learned during the week.

“If we pass the exam, we’ll earn three college credits,” Kelsey said.

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