Senior Kaitlyn Kennedy

Kennedy prepares for a future in criminal justice.

Jennavieve Carmony

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Photo by Mercedes Peck

In the last 15 years, TV crime dramas such as Law & Order and Criminal Minds have become increasingly popular. Senior Kaitlyn Kennedy spends half her day at the Northland Career Center where she and her teammates, seniors Marissa Ortega and Frankie Kelley, focus their attention on learning about Law Enforcement and Crime Scene Investigation, just like on TV.

“Career Center is pretty similar to what a real CSI team would be like,” Kennedy said. “My instructor tries to make it as real as possible by throwing in different kinds of evidence. Once we enter the scene, I start sketching out the scene, such as the furniture in the room and where the evidence is. Frankie collects the evidence in appropriate bags and Marissa gathers information for her report before we leave the scene.”

Because the team spends so much time working together, they’ve developed a strong bond.

“We all get along so great because we are interested in the same career field,” Kennedy said. “In a way, we understand each other more because of that. The thing that brings us together the most is laughing at our instructor’s jokes; we all have the same humor.”

Kennedy devotes herself to the program outside of school as well. Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, Kennedy and
her team stay for an extra two hours in preparation for their upcoming State competition in April, which will be held
in Jefferson City. The competition, which is hosted by the organization Skills USA, develops skills surrounding leadership and career-readiness.

Although preparing for State takes up most of her time, Kennedy still finds time for things she enjoys outside of school.

“My favorite thing outside of school is playing with my puppy,” Kennedy said. “My puppy’s name is Ace and he is super handsome. He’s such a crazy puppy, but he is also super cuddly when he wants to be.”

Learning to balance school and Career Center allows Kennedy to focus on her plans for the future.

Photo by Mercedes Peck

“Ever since joining the LE/CSI program, my future career plans have been constantly changing because I’m being exposed to new things,” Kennedy said. “Right now, my future career plans are to be a prosecuting attorney. I hope my future is full of success, and I hope I love my career.”

English teacher Briday Ware sees many traits that make Kennedy a role model.

“Kaitlyn is genuinely kind and someone who others want to be around. She always has a positive attitude and great smile,” Ware said. “She will be successful in any path she chooses to take.”

Kennedy wants people to keep as much positivity in their lives as they can, just as she does.

“People tend to point out the more negative aspects in situations instead of the positive aspects,” Kennedy said. “The way I stay positive is dedicating part of the weekend to ‘pamper myself.’ Positivity is very important in my life, you can’t get far with a negative attitude.”

Ortega can see the kindness that Kennedy shows to everyone she meets.

“She’s someone who seems super quiet on the outside, but when you talk to her she just explodes with information,” Ortega said. “She’s talkative and really happy and knows how to cheer you up. She’s a really good friend.”

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