Having overcome years of adversity, a local student is now clearing hurdles in her pursuit of a career with purpose.
Katelyn Cleave, 17, was recently accepted to the Youth RCMP Academy in Kamloops this spring after passing written and physical fitness requirements, and she’s set to study criminal justice at Thompson Rivers University in the fall after she graduates.
The Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School student grew up with rather scary and complicated health issues. She suffered fainting spells starting in Grade 8 and made several stays in B.C. Children’s Hospital. A rare migraine condition, which took years to diagnosis, kept her from strenuous physical activity.
Since receiving a clean bill of health in recent months, Cleave began dedicating herself to training hard and passing the physical fitness tests required by the RCMP.
To get into the Youth Academy program, Cleave had to complete a 1.5-mile run in 15 minutes and do at least 20 push-ups and 30 sit-ups in 60 seconds. She ran 1.51 miles in 14 minutes 16 seconds and completed 40 push-ups off her toes in 60 seconds and 38 sit-ups in 60 seconds.
“I want to be able to help people and be there for people,” Cleave says regarding her choice to pursue a career in law enforcement.
In her admission letter to the Youth Academy, Cleave wrote: “Choosing to be an RCMP officer has become a huge desire to me as I would truly like a career with a tremendous sense of purpose.”
The Youth Academy accepts 20 to 24 high school students aged 16 to 18 who are interested in police work or law enforcement as a possible future career. Throughout the six-day course, the students experience a variety of activities that a police cadet would experience.
It’s designed to place students in an RCMP Training Academy environment similar to depot. The students do a great deal of role playing scenarios where they will take on the role of a police officer.
Cleave says she’s excited about the opportunity to learn more about this possible career and thanks her mom, Lori, for supporting her.
“If she didn’t help me, I wouldn’t be here.”