CHDS Offers Young Professionals Opportunity to Hone HLS Careers
NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) senior faculty member David O'Keeffe leads a classroom discussion, March 8, during a new CHDS pilot program titled Emergence, developed to support the advancement of young professionals in the early stages of their careers in homeland security.
The one-week educational forum brought together professionals who have been marked as up and coming stars in their respective organizations. According to CHDS Director, Strategic Communications Heather Issvoran, trends show that talented, young professionals are leaving the public sector for positions in the private sector, creating gaps in the homeland security community.
"The participants of the pilot Emergence Program have provided valuable feedback in terms of content and structure that will assist CHDS in strengthening the impact of future Emergence program offerings, and to inspire these young people to continue in a career in homeland security and public safety," said O'Keeffe.
Officer Sofia Azumah of the San Diego Harbor Police Department is one of 32 participants in the program. Azumah, who immigrated from Ghana with her family at 8-years old, now patrols the coastal waterways of San Diego, from Coronado to Imperial Beach.
"What I see is that all of us who are attending the Emergence Program are really working towards one mission, to make a better America for all of us. I'm in awe with the others here that are just as passionate as I am to serve and protect. And from reading their bios, I am in the company of some really great professionals from some of the biggest law enforcement departments in the country. How can you not be in awe?" asked Azumah.
While Azumah's brief two-year career is just getting off the ground, her department has given her their full support as they see promise in her abilities and enthusiasm, making her a primary candidate for the course.
"I've never been in a class like this where I can share ideas with people from such diverse trades, and where I can pick their brains and immediately be able to connect and create a network with them," said Azumah. "I see myself staying in public safety, and while the pay is very good and benefits are great, I see my career as both an investment in myself and in my organization. We all benefit."
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