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Graduating with dreams of working for FBI: Rosemount's Newson sets her sights high

Rosemount High graduate Kiera Newson paints the finishing touches on an art classroom pillar. Newson earned two scholarships and will attend Hamline University where she plans to study forensic sciences with dreams of someday working for the FBI. Kara Hildreth / contributor

In high school Kiera Newson decided to stop limiting herself if she wanted to fulfill her dream of working for the FBI.

This fall Rosemount High grad Newson will study forensic science at Hamline University in St. Paul. She even earned a couple scholarships that will help her pursue that dream. She plans to study forensic science, anthropology and osteology, and her ultimate career aspirations will be to work in crime scene investigations. Her long-term career goal will be to work for the top law enforcement agency in the nation, the FBI.

"I like forensic science and want to become a forensic anthropologist and study osteology and bones, and they (Hamline) have the only forensic anthropology program in Minnesota where you can go on more hands-on digs and bring in remains from digs," Newson said.

For four years, Newson, 17, has been challenged by taking the college preparatory elective called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) where she gained a drive to excel in school.

"AVID is for first generation college students — my Mom went to college but never finished," Newson said. Her mother Qiana Shack of Apple Valley remains her biggest support and is proud she earned academic scholarships and will be headed off to Hamline in the fall, she said. Many family members will travel from Chicago this week to celebrate her academic success at her graduation ceremony.

Moving from Chicago to Minnesota in fourth grade, Newson recalls influential teachers at Parkview Elementary and Scott Highlands Middle School. All her most memorable teacher taught science and brought animals in the classroom and provided cool, hands-on learning lessons and labs. Two high school science teachers, Serene Deuth and Chris Raebel, have pushed her to new levels of learning science at Rosemount High.

"Ms. Deuth taught College in the Schools Anatomy and Physiology — I loved that course so much because she is an awesome teacher and I learned about all the skeletal body parts and muscles," Newson said.

At first, Newson was somewhat hesitant to sign up for her first honors class because she did not have faith in herself as a student. But soon she agreed to push herself and her limitations in school. Soon she tackled all the hard classes and signed up for many Advanced Placement courses and College in the Schools classes to prepare herself for the rigors of college courses.

For three years Newson has been a part of the Apple Valley Police Explorers program where today she is the captain. This experience further solidified her interest in forensics and crime scene investigations.

Today Newson is vice president of the National Art Honor Society and a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. Taking five years of Spanish, she likes how classes have become increasingly more difficult. This year, she is busy writing Spanish essays and reading more difficult passages in a foreign language. She wants to continue her Spanish education in college so she can better communicate with those who speak Spanish. Maybe she will use her bilingual speaking skills when she travels and perhaps in a future job or career path.

As a member of the Mosaics Diversity Club for three years, she said she liked to build friendships with students with diverse cultural backgrounds.

"I think it brought me to be able to see other people's cultural perspectives and insights, along with their religious and cultural backgrounds," Newson said.

Ready to graduate this week, she is eager and excited to move on to the next chapter of her life. Newson is happy she experimented with many extra-curricular activities so she could experience a period of self-discovery that enabled her to better realize her talents and interests.

As a big fan of the popular TV shows "Bones" and the "CSI" series, Newson wants to study crime scene investigation because she thinks a crime scene presents the best and most reliable way to collect facts like with DNA without relying on the sometimes unreliable nature of witness testimony.

"I am interested in forensics and crime scene investigations because the facts are science and they are exact."

If you go:

Graduation at Rosemount High School

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3

Where: Rosemount High School gym, 3335 142nd St. W., Rosemount, MN. Ceremony could be outdoors in the stadium, if weather permits.

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