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2nd Newton graduates from FBI program

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FAMILY: Haley stands with her family in front of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Her father Chris Newton (Right), who is Huntington County Sheriff,spent 16 weeks at the academy for a law enforcement leadership program, where only .5 percent of applicants are accepted. Haley intends to go to law school just like her mother Jennifer Newton (Left), who is now the Huntington County Superior Court Judge, did.
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GRADUATE: Haley Newton accepts her certificate of completion from the FBI Youth Leadership Program on June 28, 2019.

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Just three years after her father graduated from the FBI National Academy, Haley Newton walked across the FBI Academy stage after being chosen to represent Indiana in Quantico, Virginia.

One student is chosen from each state to attend the FBI Youth Leadership Program, a nine-day course at the law enforcement training and research center, where FBI agents and directors like current FBI Director William Barr once trained.

To be chosen, each candidate is evaluated by the number of hours they’ve volunteered, their GPA and their ability to impress a panel of six officers during an interview in the final stage.

Haley’s father Chris Newton, Huntington County Sheriff, said he’s been proud of her from the beginning of the process, but he said it really hit him when he heard her name called as she received her diploma on the same stage he once stood upon completion of his 10-week program.

“Having her and I be able to share that moment is pretty indescribable. I won’t lie, it got pretty emotional when she walked across the stage,” he said. “I definitely had tears in my eyes when she was presented her yellow brick for running the yellow brick road. Now her’s and mine sit side by side in my office. It’s just a reminder of something that we share, and regardless of how old she gets... we will always have that one thing that just daddy and daughter get to share. It was just a very proud moment for me.”

Haley said she wanted to get into the program after her father came back and told her about all the connections he made with people from around the world and how he learned a lot while having fun.

She plans to practice law one day like her mother, Jennifer Newton, who is the Huntington County Superior Court Judge, so she said the program was a great way to get an understanding of what it takes to be a leader in the law enforcement community.

“Some people call this summer camp, but honestly it’s not a camp because when you think of camp you don’t go through a ton of classes and you usually know some people,” Haley said. “To me, this was more of an academy or school because we sat through many two hour classes each day and hours of PT for two hours a day and twice a day sometimes.”

Her day consisted of waking up at 5:30 a.m. to ensure she boarded the bus at 6 a.m. to go to the academy for physical training first thing every morning.

One morning they ran up the parking garage staircase 146 times, doing burpees, squats, pushups or crunches every time they reached the top. Another morning they ran two miles before starting stretches and workouts.

One of the workouts was listening to different songs with repetitive lyrics and doing exercises each time a familiar phrase was said. For example, they listened to Thunderstruck and did burpees each time the song said “thunder” or “thunderstruck.”

From there, they would shower, change and go to classes, where they covered topics like morals, ethics, values, choices, honesty, and leadership. The classes ranged from one to three hours long, and she attended about six classes each day.

“They jam packed so much in a nine-day course,” she said.

At the end of the program, Haley completed the yellow brick road, a four-mile-long obstacle course that adult recruits and FBI agents must complete before graduation.

The highly-regimented program is designed to test them in all aspects of law enforcement.

“The whole point is, a healthy body is a healthy mind, so they’re hitting the kids two different ways,’’ Chris said.

Now, as Haley prepares herself for high school before leaving home for college, Chris Newton said he will always be able to look at his yellow brick next to his to remember their connection.

“Since I’ve been born, (law enforcement) has always been a part of me.”

“We will be able to share these memories for a lifetime,” Haley said.