Seattle U Welcomes Treehouse Students Interested in Criminal Justice, Forensics

By Catherine Krummey, Treehouse Communications Specialist

Thanks to a partnership with Seattle University and Casey Family Programs, a group of Treehouse youth interested in criminal justice and forensics toured Seattle U’s campus and learned more about those subjects.

Bradley Loetzke helped organize the event. He is a Treehouse Education Specialist and is pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Seattle U.

“I’m pursuing this degree because I want to know more about the laws making people who look like me disappear into the criminal justice system daily in my neighborhood,” Bradley said. “I want to become equipped with the tools to prevent that from happening.”

He led the youth on a tour of the campus, answering their questions as they learned more about the school.

“Leading the tour was an honor, to be around so many enthusiastic young people who want to help make a change in the world,” Bradley said. “It is important for youth to take tours of colleges and explore their goals because it makes it more tangible. I am a firm believer in if you believe it, if you touch it and if you work for it, that thing—whatever it is—will be yours when it’s time.”

Following the tour, our youth met with current Seattle U students and staff involved with the Fostering Scholars program, which provides financial, academic and personal support to alumni of foster care enrolled at the school.

Our youth then heard more about forensics and criminal justice from Al O’Brien, an instructor at Seattle U. His presentation included a hands-on activity where the youth compared their fingerprints by blowing them up on balloons.

To close his presentation, he offered some advice to the students: “Hit the books,” emphasizing the importance of getting a degree in their field. He also suggested they seek out volunteer opportunities and internships with local politicians or the prosecutor’s office.

“I’m always thrilled to watch young people get excited about their future and speak with a professional who is equally as passionate,” said Treehouse Education Services Resource Coordinator Annie Fidler, who accompanied the youth on the trip. “For youth in foster care who experience more uncertainty about the future than their peers, it feels like an honor to witness these moments when the excitement outweighs the uncertainty.”

Annie worked closely with Shelby Weitzel, an Education Liaison with Casey Family Programs, to organize this opportunity for local youth in foster care. In her role, Annie coordinates many events to introduce our youth to different college and career opportunities.

“Career exploration moments like these can remove some of the distancing that happens when the only exposure to a career field happens through TV or school,” she said. “Speaking with a professional directly can build a young person’s confidence, expand awareness of the opportunities available to them, shed light on the many pathways that lead to their dream job and allow them to visualize themselves in that role.”

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About the Author

Catherine Krummey is the Marketing and Communications Specialist at Treehouse. She is passionate about storytelling and excited to share stories about Treehouse through social media, blog posts and newsletters.

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