By Sarah Rogers
This Bronco alum profile is different from the profiles we usually write. But there’s a good reason.
[redacted text], a multilingual criminal justice graduate with a minor in political science, recently became an officer with the U.S. Secret Service. Because of their post and the need to protect their identity, we can’t tell you their name. We can’t reveal information about where they live, their family or background. We can’t even tell you the year they graduated.
But we can share a few stories about their time at Boise State, what they value now and their plans for the future.
Patience and grace
Patience and grace: During college, [redacted text] worked at the information desk in the Student Union Building, a job that required a cool head and the ability to interact with a range of patrons – everyone from overwhelmed undergraduates to worried parents. [redacted text] excelled, said colleague Meaghan Compton.
“If you have ever met [redacted text], then you would know there is no question that they are the epitome of Boise State, wrapped up in a smile,” Compton said.
At the information desk, [redacted text] worked closely with Boise State’s Department of Public Safety and the police officers charged with protecting campus. Those officers became mentors and continue to be, even in [redacted text]’s new role. These relationships, [redacted text] said, are among the most valuable things they took from Boise State.
One of those mentors, Byron Grover, a corporal with the Boise City Police Department, praised [redacted text]’s devotion to their family and the way they advocated for law enforcement.
“[redacted text] is able to go with the flow. They learn quickly and know how to read people and read a crowd. They are smart. A person with a warrior’s mentality but a kind heart,” Grover said.
A fateful email
After graduation, [redacted text] was working as a legal assistant in a law firm when they received a recruitment email from the Secret Service. They began the application process. It took six months for redacted text] to receive a conditional job offer and another eight months to get officially hired. They endured months of medical tests, physical tests, background tests and a polygraph that lasted more than seven hours. They trained in firearms, driving and “control tactics,” or hand-to-hand combat. They and the 11 agents they trained with “became like a family,” [redacted text] said. Because of the rigor of their training, they adopted a motto: “suffer in silence.”
[redacted text] remembers the moment when officials finally handed them their badge, credentials and gun. They looked at their fellow agents, realizing, “We got it done,” [redacted text] said.
Being an officer with the Secret Service involves structure, but asks officers to be prepared for anything. That might be securing a safe area for the president or vice president, or doing the same for visiting world leaders. [redacted text] said that one of the highlights of their job so far was a summit in Washington, D.C. with 40 African leaders.
“It was cool to be able to talk to people who hold the same job as me from around the globe,” [redacted text] said.
[redacted text]’s advice for aspiring agents: Be humble and conscious of your actions “because one small mistake can cut a lot of things out of your future,” [redacted text] said.
What’s next?: [redacted text] is enrolled in an online master’s program in legal studies and counter terrorism. They plan to attend law school. “My mom likes to say, ‘people can take everything away from you, but they can’t take your education,’” [redacted text] said.
Eventually, [redacted text] would like to return to Boise, work in law enforcement and one day run for political office. “My parents always told me growing up to never forget where you came from, nor the people who got you to where you are.”