RIDGELAND, SC (WTOC) - These days, students are getting a jump start on their careers early.
But one Ridgeland High School student is getting an opportunity of a lifetime to explore a career in law and crime scene investigations.
Thaddeus Smith is just a junior here at Ridgeland High School but he's making quite a name for himself.
"Thaddeus, he exemplifies what a Jaguar should be and students see that and they try to follow his example," said Nathaniel Drake Jr., band director. "He's a wonderful student, well rounded, respected and respectable."
It seems there isn't anything Thaddeus isn't involved in here at school. He's a member of the band, the chorus, the medical careers club, not to mention he's starting the school's first debate team and serves on the Superintendent's Advisory committee.
He's also in the process of heading up a service learning project to help the people of Haiti. Now, he's been invited to attend the national Youth Leadership Forum on Law and Crime Scene investigation this fall in our nation's capitol.
"This is very big, huge," said Thaddeus. "It's not everyday a person gets asked to go to Washington D.C."
During the six day forum, he will join teens from all over the nation in exploring careers in criminal law and forensics, getting hands on experience.
"We'll be given a case and we'll have to do what lawyers do, what paralegal's do, go in and research, determine the aspects of the crime, whether it's accidental, suicide, homicide, we'll have to find out who is a suspect," said Thaddeus.
He says this opportunity is something he can't pass up.
"I think it would have a deep impact on it because for six days, basically doing what a lawyer does on an everyday basis will have an extreme impact because law is something I've always wanted to do," said Thaddeus.
But he needs the community's financial support to help take him to new heights.
The trip in November will cost $2,000. If you would like to help Thaddeus in this educational experience contact his family at 843.726.4532.