When Jared Begody, 14, was a small child he envisioned himself as a member of the Navy Seals, and since then he has persevered a required characteristic of the Seals to stay on this path towards that goal.
Recently, Begody returned to Winslow, missing his first week of high school, to attend two weeks of training at the National Indian Youth Police Academy in Wisconsin. From here on out he will need to begin a rigorous academic career, as he will need to earn a 4.0 grade point average to be recommended and accepted into the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Begody began working on his resume early, and attending the police academy was just the beginning of his extra-circular accolade.
Begody was one of only 60 teenagers chosen this year out of the over 2000 who applied to the NIYPA. This program was in its sixth year of operation and has trained 360 Native American students.
"We believe in our tribal youth and their roles in the future of their tribes," states the NIYPA mission statement. "We believe in the sovereignty of tribes and the importance of preserving the rights, heritage, culture and traditions of our tribes while preparing our youth with the tools to be successful in their chosen endeavors."
Begody said he plans on serving in the Navy Seals for 12 years and then he will begin a career in law enforcement by joining the Winslow Police Department.
"I would like to be a police officer here to help protect people's rights and safety," Begody said.
Jared's parents, Quentin and Sylvia Begody, said they do not know where Jared's drive towards the ocean came from, but said they do everything they can to support and encourage him to achieve his goal.
"One time when he was 10-years old, Jared got online and sent in an application to join the Navy Seals, but they sent him back a letter saying he would have to wait until he was 18," Sylvia said.
"We think it is good for parents to really talk with their kids at an early age so they can understand their child's interests and help develop them early on," Sylvia said, who also works as a cleark for the Winslow Police Department.
Sylvia said that every time she or her husband would meet somebody in the Navy, they would introduce them to Jared so he could learn more about being that lifestyle.
Begody spends just about every other day for a time in the police department after school visiting with officers, detectives and the police chief. When Begody turns 15 soon, he will then be old enough to go on ride-alongs with an on-duty officer in a squad car.
"Ever since that I began doing this and went to the academy, my friends have seen that I can do it, and they now are thinking that they can accomplish their goals too," Begody said.
When Begody was at the NIYPA, the young cadets were trained in everything from hostage simulation, SWAT and shooting a Glock-9 to narcotics investigations, ethics, and police aviation. He then participated in a four-mile run to honor a marine that was killed in Iraq.
"I even got to fly an airplane for about 20 minutes out of the airport in Oshkosh," Begody said. "I got to turn and roll the plane, it was great!"
While at the academy, Begody was also chosen to be squad leader for his unit, where the groups were scored on their abilities in the activities.
"My squad was awarded with Best Overall Squad, and Best Precision Marching," he said.
Begody plans on continuing to attend the academy in future years. In the meantime, he has picked up physical training material from the Navy Seals to work on while going through high school.
"I would like to thank my mom and dad for all their support and helping to get me to the academy. I could not have done it alone."