NRHS student attends security forum

Published 10:12 pm Friday, September 28, 2012

A Nansemond River High School sophomore selected to attend a student program in Washington on national security became interested in the subject after visiting the White House.

Samantha Henry, who has been attending the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security this past week, said she was visiting the president’s residence with her dad three years ago.


“I saw the Secret Service (agents) and started talking to them,” she said, adding that the men in black were only too happy to tell her about their important jobs.


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“They were very nice about it,” Henry said. “They gave me all the information. They told me about a website to … look into it.”

Henry was selected to attend the fall program, subtitled Exploring American Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense, after her guidance counselor urged her to apply.

According to a press release, the program briefed students on “challenging careers in national security, intelligence, the diplomatic corps and more.”

The curriculum is based on real events, calling on students to use critical thinking, leadership and public speaking skills to learn how the nation “plans for peace and prepares for crisis.”

Henry also participates in the robotic and voice clubs at Nansemond River and plays the French horn.

She plays soccer for her school in the spring, and is currently goalie for an advanced under-16s Churchland team.

The energetic student volunteered 86 hours of her time at Nauticus this past summer. Additional to security, Henry says she is also interested in a career in engineering.

She currently plans to major in engineering at either Ohio State University or Old Dominion University, which both also offer majors in security, in case she opts for that path instead.

“I could see myself protecting anybody that they assign me to,” she said. “I can protect anybody that I need to.”

She hopes to take away from Washington information to help her choose a career path. “I’m hoping to meet new people and learn new things,” she said. “I’m most looking forward to visiting the Pentagon.”

In the past, students participating in the forum have explored the Pentagon as well as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Naval Academy, and other government sites and embassies.