At 17, Savanna Freeman has some insight as to what it takes to respond to a national security crisis.
The Habersham Central High School junior recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C., for the National Youth Leadership Forum.
As part of the six-day conference, Freeman participated in simulated national security discussions and learned about careers in the state department and U.S. military organizations.
"Intelligence really interests me; I'm thinking about a job in the FBI," Freeman said.
Freeman was selected from a group of the "most promising" high school scholars, according to the organization.
The curriculum for the forum was based on actual real world events, she said. During the simulation, students used a decision-making process similar to those employed by top policy makers.
For her national security simulation, Freeman said she was given information about a nuclear war threat from Korea. Her role was to play the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.
"We learned how the different branches interact and how you're supposed to behave and transfer information to each branch," she said.
The teens also learned how to respond to the media during a mock question and answer session.
Freeman said she was excited to meet with senior military and representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, among others.
"They told us about their life and job. Some couldn't talk a lot about it because they were still doing their job. I think it was top secret," she said.
Though a position with the CIA was originally her top choice, Freeman said she the talks gave her a better idea of her career goals.
"With the CIA, I learned a lot of their jobs are overseas and I like my home here; I would like to stay in my country," she said, adding she will look closer into careers in the FBI and NSA.
Her interest in intelligence was partly inspired by the FBI drama "Numbers," which she watches regularly in syndication.
"I don't think it would be a boring job. There's always a new challenge," she said.
In her free time, Freeman said she visited some sites around Washington, D.C., such as the International Spy Museum.
Freeman's trip came in part thanks to one of her teachers, who felt Broome would be a good candidate for the opportunity.
Freeman was nominated for the program by her ninth-grade Honors History teacher Pamela Broome. She is the daughter of Kent and Samantha Freeman of Demorest.