Arnold's focus on the future

by Sean Dunlap

For Franklin County High School student Savannah Arnold, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to her laser-focused career aspirations.

She is getting another leg up on her future plans thanks to an invitation to attend the prestigious National Security Boot Camp in Washington, D.C., this summer.

“A teacher at school recommended me for this week-long program and I was accepted to go,” Arnold said.

“There will be seminars daily where people from the military, government leaders and authors will speak, and this fits in with building my leadership skills.”

The camp, based at the University of Maryland with programs around the nation’s capitol, will provide Arnold and her peers with valuable insights into national security issues and concerns and will allow time for interactive learning and hands-on activities.

Her vast interests, which include the security intelligence sector, made Arnold a natural choice to take part in the initiative that will also count toward her future college studies credits.

“It’s a really unique opportunity that I have been given, mainly because how far away it is from home, and I am excited to participate in something like this,” Arnold said.

Arnold, who is taking 10th grade classes but is considered a rising junior in terms of school tenure, is on the fast track to graduate early from FCHS.

She desires to apply to all of the military academies for a chance to continue her post-secondary studies and to focus on psychology and enlist into the United States Marine Corps as an officer.

“My dream would be to become part of the military police or working with intelligence or communications ... something along those lines,” she said. “I would like to do that for a four- or six-year contract and then attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy to study as a behavioral analyst.”

While she is a fan of the television series, “Criminal Minds,” which focuses on the work of analysts to solve crimes, Arnold said she understands there is a difference between TV crime fighters and those that have that occupation in the real world.

“I’m really not a big TV watcher, but when I do, I enjoy the stories shown in ‘Criminal Minds,” she noted. “It’s a drama where things are typically wrapped up in an hour and is just good story telling.”

Additionally, Arnold credits her involvement with the FCHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps — better known as JROTC — as having a tremendous influence on setting her career aspirations.

“I am the kind of person that likes to have a plan, and JROTC took me out of my comfort zone to make me not only a better person, but also a better leader,” she continued.

“In eighth grade, little Savannah was not the same that she is today ... back then, I was very quiet and reserved with few friends. Now, it’s all I want to do and it has led to an abundance of new friends and people I have had the chance to meet and potentially influence from what I have learned.

“I have grown to love the people who are in the (JROTC) program and I would recommend it to anybody looking to broaden their horizons.”

Arnold said her involvement with JROTC helped push her toward considering involvement in the military after high school — especially in light of the structure and discipline that comes from that career path.

“Those things have helped me to blossom and have encouraged me to consider this career path,” she went on to say.

In discussing her personal life, Arnold does not consider herself a home-body and loves being outdoors and surrounded by God’s beautiful creation.

“I also like to read, but only realistic fiction and non-fiction, and to spend time with my family, especially my mom (Angel Arnold), who is my best friend,” she said.

She also credits her father, Shane Arnold, and her brothers as being major influencers in her life.

“We’re a very close family and there is nothing but love in our home,”Arnold added. “My dad has been my role model when it comes to the military aspect of my goals and I have gotten a lot of good counsel from him. My family, as a whole, has been super supportive of me in everything I want to do.”

In school, she enjoys subjects connected with English, literature and writing and is looking forward to taking psychology as part of her upcoming high school studies.

Arnold is actively working to raise funds for her trip to the upcoming security conference as participants are required to pay their own way to attend. Fees for the program will include registration costs and transportation.

Presently, the family is planning a yard sale from 2 to 5 p.m., Friday, July 1 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 2 at the Quentin storage buildings off U.S. Highway 84 on Quentin Road (turn at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church sign).

All items, including a wide variety of clothes, shoes, toys, backpacks and household items, at the yard sale will be priced at $1 or less.

Additionally, those wanting to help Arnold with her trip can contact her mother by calling 601-297-1269.