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      Agent tells KIDS In Motion to live their dream

      When Perry was in the 8th grade, he wrote an essay for a class assignment asking what he wanted to be when he grew up. He wrote that he wanted to work for the U.S. Secret Service. He got his wish.

      The United States Secret Service has been around since the days of President Lincoln.

      Its mission is two-fold - to protect and to investigate.

      Only about 3,500 agents can call themselves active members of the U.S. Secret Service.

      And one agent was able to make a trip back home to talk to teenagers about his career, and what they can do to be successful after they graduate.

      Todd Perry graduated from South Shelby High School in 1988. He worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections, then for the Springfield, Missouri Police Department. Eleven years ago, he made a career change and today he got the chance to share his experience with about 100 teenagers who are part of the Kids In Motion program in Hannibal.

      When Perry was in the 8th grade, he wrote an essay for a class assignment asking what he wanted to be when he grew up. He wrote that he wanted to work for the U. S. Secret Service. Fast-forward about three decades, and that's exactly what he's doing. And for about two hours he shared his career experience with this group of teenagers.

      They got to ask him a lot of questions - everything from his most dangerous assignment to his favorite food and color.

      " And I like how he actually cared about our, like, what we had to say to him. And I like how he had clips and he interacted with us, because not many people do that. They usually stand up there and talk," Neely Jones, who was one of the teenagers at the morning event said.

      Secret Service rules prevented us from talking to Perry directly, but his message did seem to have an impact on the young men and women who came to listen.

      "B ecause I think he's going to give hope to these kids. And give them the chance to see that if they really want something badly enough they can make it happen," KIDS In Motion Program Director Amy Vaughn said.

      Perry even went as far as to ask each student about their career interests, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams and make it a mission to accomplish what they set out to do.

      Perry said he's been to 14 countries during his Secret Service career.

      Federal rules require him to retire from the Secret Service when he reaches age 57.