Most little kids want to grow up to be royalty or even superheroes, but not senior Garrett Popovich.
Garrett has known that he wants to go into the workforce to be a firefighter or police officer since he was three years old.
“When I was three years old, I was playing with matchbox cars that were like cop cars,” Garrett said. “While everyone else was playing with monster trucks, I was the one playing with the fire and police cars.”
Senior Nathan Domeck lived in the same neighborhood as Garrett as a child and according to Domeck, Garrett has always had an interest in police.
“When he was little, he would take his bike and he would put little lights on it,” Domeck said. “In the morning, he would go outside and turn on his lights, making cop noises riding down the street with his bike.”
Garrett is currently a police explorer in Madeira, which is part of the Learning for Life career education program for teenagers who are 15 through 20 years old. Being a police explorer allows teenagers to experience what the career field is like being a police officer.
“The officers down in Madeira have trained me well, taught me well, and they’ve definitely showed me that being a police officer is something I want to do in life,” Garrett said. “Working with those guys has helped me further my career field and I have just wanted to be in the job more.”
Garrett also has a job as the public safety director at The Beach Waterpark. He handles all the fire inspections, all the public safety inspections, and he meets with the Mason police department and the Mason fire department on a regular basis. He is in charge of having a working relationship with the police and fire department, along with the 911 communication center for Warren County.
According to Garrett’s father, Gary Popovich, Garrett is already pretty mature for an 18-year-old.
“Just being around other adults and being comfortable in those kind of environments and settings, I think is good for any kid,” Gary said. “It’s good that he kind of knows what he wants to do and he has a passion for it. He is still an 18-year-old kid and he has his moments, but the maturity factor is a big one.”
After he graduates high school, Garrett plans to attend Cincinnati State to get his fire and EMT license, and get a job at a department either part-time or full-time. When he turns 21 years old, he will go to the police academy to get his state certificate. From there, he will apply and try to get a job somewhere.
“Obviously, my plan of going to college is not ‘the norm’ where everyone goes to college right after high school,” Garrett said. “My plan is to get a job, further my education in whatever career field I choose to be dominant in, whether it’s being a police officer or a firefighter.”