‘Engaging with the kids:’ FBI agents mentor Trowbridge School students as part of nationwide program

MILWAUKEE -- A lucky group of children from Milwaukee are getting a firsthand look at what it means to be part of the FBI. Trowbridge School is partnering with the FBI to encourage students to make good choices.

Leonard Peace, FBI Milwaukee public affairs officer

The FBI Milwaukee is taking the school under its wing as part of the FBI's nationwide Adopt-A-School program.

"It has an unbelievable effect on a young man or a young lady," Leonard Peace, FBI Milwaukee public affairs officer said. "Maybe they don't see as many positive images in their lives, and putting them in touch with law enforcement in such a positive way to talk about their futures, talk about making good choices."

Trowbridge was the only school in Wisconsin selected for this honor.

"We want students to be exposed to a variety of opportunities they may have in the field of law enforcement," Thomas Matthews, Trowbridge School principal said.

The partnership kicked off Wednesday, Feb. 7 with a crash course on the FBI from Justin Tolomeo, special agent in charge of the FBI Milwaukee.

"I really enjoy engaging with the kids in terms of teaching them about what I do. I think they always learn something new about the FBI apart from what they see on TV," Tolomeo said.

During the eight-week program, various agents will mentor seventh- and eight-graders, teaching them the ins and outs of things like cybersecurity and crisis response.

"It's designed to give them an overview of what the FBI does, but more importantly to engage with agents and other FBI staff," Tolomeo said.

The hope is that trusting relationships will be forged between students and law enforcement officials.

When the program wraps up in April, students will graduate from the FBI Milwaukee. They'll also celebrate by touring the offices and trying their hand at evidence collection.