You could say law enforcement is in Courtney Leben’s blood. Her dad is a Burleigh County Sheriff’s Deputy. Her maternal grandfather and his two brothers had long careers in law enforcement, and her mom was in a military police until while serving the North Dakota National Guard.
So, it should come as no surprise to learn that Courtney will spend a week this summer at the FBI National Academy Youth Leadership Program. She will represent the northwest region, which includes North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba.
“I am super excited, and a little nervous, to go,” says Courtney.
The Youth Leadership Program is open to teens ages 14-16 who are the child or grandchild of an FBI National Academy graduate. Courtney’s dad, Kelly, attended the three-month version for law enforcement when Courtney was just a toddler.
“I’m not really sure I’m following in his footsteps. I’m not sure I want to go into law enforcement, but I do like the human service areas of work, and this is the opportunity of a lifetime,” she says.
Courtney has been quick to join any and all organizations that teach leadership skills. She’s been a student council representative since 9th grade and was recently elected public relations rep for Bismarck High’s Student Council. She is also President of the school’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter. She’s a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), National Honor Society, and Key Club. She also plays volleyball and attends Young Life activities.
“I like to be busy,” Courtney says with a smile.
Turns out that staying busy has also taught this 16-year-old some important leadership skills that will come in handy in whatever career path she chooses.