Senior Catherine Sherman Finds Her Passion, Works Toward Goal of Being FBI Agent


Alex Thomas, Cami Pakkala, Ben Wolcanski, Staff Writers, Journalism I

Adviser’s Note:  Journalism I students interviewed NDA senior Catherine Sherman about her pursuit of her childhood dream. Several stories by the students are included here.

“When I got there, I knew that I belonged there,” said Catherine Sherman, a senior at NDA.

Sherman’s passion is to become an FBI agent. “I think I had a volleyball coach or something that said they were an FBI agent,” said Sherman.

Ever since this idea of the FBI was brought up to her, she has found love and interest in it. She visited FBI agencies as a young child and this fueled her passion to be an agent. 

All these years later, Sherman was recommended for TEAM (Teen Experience and Mentorship). TEAM is a program where you get to see what it is like to be an FBI agent for a week.

Sherman knew right away that this was God’s call for her. She had her mind set on the goal and passion, so she packed her bags for the week and headed to the Field Office near Milwaukee, where the camp was hosted.

On the first day, she had to get a level 1 security clearance, she could not have her phone, and she also had to be followed home to make sure no one was following her from the agency. Sherman also recalled that she met lots of law enforcement officers on this first day.

Then, the second day came. She saw where the gun room was, saw a lot of crime photos, followed a real crime, did car searches and learned how to pick up evidence. 

The third day was the news flash for her. She went to the police academy, did gun ranges, and learned how to fight, dressed up, had a dog attack, how to do a house search, and did a simulation on how to shoot a person.

The simulation is when she saw how hard it is to be an agent. 

“Man came out robbing a bank, my partner told him to put his hands up and for some reason, I shot him in the head. It was my first instinct. I knew I wasn’t really killing the man, but it felt like I did,” said Sherman.

The students were finishing up the camp and looked at crime scenes again, like the second day. 

The fifth day was a “fun day.” The FBI had a barbecue and parents were allowed to come. Sherman got to speak to other agents which taught her some things about the struggles and hardships of the job.

From this week of experience, Sherman learned that you cannot take anything home with you.

“You have to learn to separate work from home. Agents have a hard time not being able to see the good in humanity because of the stuff they see while working,” said Sherman.

Sherman’s dedication to her passion finally paid off when she was offered an internship at the Field Office for the summer. She is looking forward to working toward her passion and knowing that she found her niche.

  –Alex Thomas


“I think I wanted to be a nun in fourth grade,” said Catherine Sherman, a future FBI  prospect. 

Sherman was inspired by a past volleyball coach, who was an FBI agent, to pursue a future in the organization.

“I really didn’t know where it started,” stated Sherman when describing her interest in the FBI. 

Sherman was recommended by an FBI agent to attend the Teen Experience and Mentorship (TEAM) camp that took place this past summer. The camp was located in St. Francis, just 20 minutes away from Milwaukee. 

The camp was a week long and consisted of lessons, following real crime scenes and learning how to navigate crime scene investigations. 

During the camp, Sherman went to a police academy. She learned how to use proper defense and did simulations of real crime scenes, learning  how to react correctly. 

The camp was very intense and strict to ensure safety for all the students. There was security clearance everyday, and phones weren’t allowed. 

“I snuck Starbucks in once… that was cool,” she said. 

The last day of camp was a very fun and relaxed day. The campers had an opportunity to talk with any FBI agent they chose. 

“It was the best experience of my life,” stated Sherman, “God’s calling for me.” 

Sherman is planning on attending college with a double major in Chinese and criminal studies with a minor in political science. She has been taking Mandarin language lessons since fourth grade. 

Sherman decided that she wanted to pursue her desire of being an FBI agent, so she started the application process back in January 2022. The application consisted of passing a background check, writing an essay on why she wanted to pursue the career, getting references, sending her resume, and an over-the-phone interview. 

“Thank God I have parents who sponsor this thing,” said the senior. 

Sherman is now a candidate for the undergraduate paid internship that the FBI offers. 

“Validating,” said Sherman while describing her journey. 

–Cami Pakkala


“I wanted to be a nun in 4th grade,” said Catherine Sherman.

Sherman is a senior here at Notre Dame Academy whose dream is to become an FBI agent.

“Thank God I had parents that fostered this dream,” said Sherman.

Sherman was recommended by an FBI agent in Green Bay to attend a FBI teen camp.

The program was called T.E.A.M. which stands for Teen Experience and Mentorship.

The application process started back in January 2021 and lasted till March 2021.

“I had to write an essay about why I wanted to join the FBI, I had to get references and submit a resume and I had an over-the-phone interview,” explained the senior.

Sherman was picked as 1 of 25 applicants for the program.

“It’s the FBI,” Sherman said.

The camp was held at an FBI headquarters in St. Francis, 20 minutes out of Milwaukee.

“We couldn’t have our phones, we had to be followed home and followed out for our own protection,” Sherman said.

“I snuck in Starbucks once,” she added with a laugh.

For the week-long camp, Sherman learned how to do statement analyzes, crisis handling and crime scene analysis. 

“It was surreal to me,” she said.

On the third day, the camp went to the police academy and did a real-life simulation.

“A man was robbing a bank and came out. My partner said hands up and I shot him in the head. I didn’t remember doing it,” Sherman said before explaining the ‘robber’ was an actor.

Although the simulation was fake, she was shaken by it.

“You cannot take it home; you have to leave it at work,” Sherman’s FBI mentor told her.

The senior now plans to go to either the University of Purdue or the University of Wisconsin to double major in Chinese and criminology with a minor in political science.

After she graduates, Sherman hopes to join the FBI as an agent.

“It was the best experience of my life. That week was transcendent for me,” she said.

–Ben Wolcanski