Change Makers: Galileo Savage, Binghamton University’s first EOP student ambassador
VESTAL (WBNG) -- February is Black History Month and all month long, WBNG has been highlighting change-makers from in and around the Southern Tier.
This week, we meet a Binghamton University student who is already making a name for himself across the state as part of the inaugural class of ambassadors for a SUNY-wide program.
Galileo Savage is only a sophomore, but the political science major already has big plans.
“After I finish my four years here, I look to go to law school, and then after that, I’d love to either practice law or go into politics or maybe one day work for the United Nations,” said Savage.
While in high school, he was introduced to the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program by a counselor.
The program aims to provide access, academic support, and financial aid to students who may otherwise not have applied due to financial concerns or other obstacles.
“I’m a first-generation student,” said Savage, " Without the EOP program I don’t know if I’d be able to be here right now.”
Savage acknowledges the road has not been an easy one, but it has inspired him to fight for change.
“Growing up I was raised in an environment where I saw a lot of individuals be penalized and go to jail, just penalized in general, not because they committed these harsh crimes but more so they didn’t have the appropriate people there to represent them or people who cared about them and it became like a domino effect,” said Savage, “Those individuals, they lost time in their lives and their loved ones lost time with them and you see their kids continue to follow down the same path. So I’m just trying to break that chain and be a voice for the voiceless.”
Speaking of voices, he is now one of 21 chosen from thousands of applicants across New York for EOP’s inaugural student ambassador cohort. As an ambassador, he represents all 64 SUNY campuses in a variety of ways.
“Going to high schools, talking about the program to those students, speaking to different legislators about things we need to see change, reaching out to the chancellor and elaborating on things we need to see changed, having those conversations with other EOP students in our communities,” said Savage, “Seeing what needs to be changed in order to make sure they have the appropriate resources and make sure they feel they have someone who will listen to them.”
He said it’s important young people step up and be that change they want to see.
“We are the next trailblazers, we are the leaders of tomorrow in a sense and laying that foundation so that those who come behind us, those younger generations can do the same and be as successful if not more successful than we are, said Savage, “Just making the world a better place.”
His advice to others: You are capable of anything you put your mind to.
“Stay optimistic, stay strong, and it’s going to get better, and if it’s not better that means it’s not over yet,” said Savage, “Just keep fighting and staying true to yourself. I think when you’re in high school I think you feel so old and your clock is running out but it’s just starting. Take your time, let it come to you, figure out what you want and focus on that and you can get it done.”
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