Lindsay Schultz – Criminal Justice, 1997

“Focused” and “driven” are two words that describe Lindsay Schultz, who was in the first group of students to complete Cascadia Tech Academy’s Criminal Justice program in 1997.

“I grew up with a lot of respect for law enforcement, and it’s something I always knew I wanted to do,” says Schultz, who is now one of three detectives in the Clark County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit.

With an unstable home life as a teen and no financial backing for college, Schultz was weighing her options when she learned from her school’s career center that Cascadia Tech (then the Clark County Skills Center) was starting a new program in Criminal Justice. She knew of Cascadia Tech because her older sister had attended the dental program, so she jumped on the opportunity to apply to the new program that perfectly matched her career interest.

“I knew that I would have to support myself right away,” she says, “and I knew that [Cascadia Tech] was the place to go to learn the skills to get a good job.”

Schultz found that, even in its first year, the Criminal Justice program was very robust, with curriculum that gave an overview of all aspects of criminal justice—from law enforcement to the legal system to corrections.

“We had a lot of guest speakers from the community,” recalls Schultz. “It really helped me understand all the career options and narrow down my focus to being a patrol officer.”

Schultz’s focus and drive at Cascadia Tech resulted in her receiving a Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) from the state Workforce Training Board. The scholarship covered her tuition at WSU for two years. At the same time, Schultz worked her way through college through the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program. Upon completing her studies, Schultz joined the Clark County Sheriff’s Office full-time in 2002.

“I’m very fond of this place,” says Schultz as she walks the halls of Cascadia Tech. She returns to the school regularly as one of the guest speakers, like those who inspired her when she was a student. And she keeps tabs on several of the students currently participating in the program.

“There’s a girl I’ve known from church for 10 years, and she was always very interested in what I do. She just started her first year here,” says Schultz. “I highly recommend [Cascadia Tech] for when it’s time to pay attention to where you see yourself in a few years.”

For more details on Schultz’s work as a Clark County major crimes detective, read this article from the Columbian: