Network Connections with Rep Friess’ Women’s Leadership Initiative

As often as we are able to, we try to connect our mentees with professional women in their fields of interest.

Our Mentee pictured right, Jaydian, is a Junior at Red Bud High School and has expressed an interest in becoming a Conservation Police Officer. We were able to locate a female officer in our district who agreed to speak to Jaydian.

Amanda McKune (Pictured Left) is a Conservation Police Officer (CPO) in our district. Her territory is St. Clair County, although it is often that Amanda is called to the surrounding counties to assist.

Amanda was named Officer of the Year in 2022. She started her career after college, working at the St Louis Zoo as a biologist. She became interested in the IDNR (Illinois Department of Resources) Conservation Police program. She went through the Illinois State Police Academy prior to applying to become a CPO. After the academy, it took a year for her to traverse the IDNR hiring process and secure employment with them. She has now been in the program for 4 years and loves her job. She works very hard and has the flexibility to have the work-life balance she prefers.

She advised Jaydian that it would be best to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree before she goes to the academy. She also suggested that she apply for a mentorship summer program with IDNR, for an opportunity to ride along with the CPO. She provided Jaydian with her contact information and the information of the Randolph County CPO for additional guidance.

Jaydian said she left the meeting with valuable new information and is even more excited about the opportunities to come.