"My proudest accomplishment is raising my four kids. Each of them is a graduate of Anchorage's public schools, and they are each driven by a desire for public service and giving back to their communities. Camden, Bridget, Sean, and Cooper are a continued blessing to Pat and me."
Camden is the youngest Galvin, and just graduated from high school. He will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design as a Game Design major in the fall. In 6th grade, Camden founded a lunch program, called Souper Steller, cooking soup for his sister’s high school. Through this program, Camden raised money for the Abused Woman Aid in Crisis shelter (AWAIC). His efforts were recognized with a Spirit of Youth Award. His community leadership skills were recognized when he was elected Co-Chair of his school’s governing body made up of representatives from parents, staff, and students. Camden also taught a class at his school titled “Mythology as a Roleplaying Game” in which he taught students folktales and myths through a game he developed himself.
“My mom has always been a fighter for her community. She led me to carry this tradition of advocacy when she took me to visit the AWAIC shelter when I was in the 6th grade. I was moved by the stories from the children at the shelter, many of them my age. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know what to do. After brainstorming with my Mom, my friend and I started Souper Steller, and raised over $500 to buy toys and supplies for those children. It was through my mom’s kind words and encouragement that pushed me to help my community.”
Bridget is a student of political science at New York University. After graduating she hopes to work in education policy to better the lives of Alaskan children in the public-school system. Bridget is a proud product of the Anchorage School District and spent much of her high school career advocating for Alaska’s public schools on a statewide level. She founded the movement Students With A Voice (SWAV), so Alaskan students could have the opportunity and encouragement to stand up for their right to a quality public education. Her advocacy took many forms, from organizing rallies, days of awareness, and student testimony before legislative committees, to personally meeting with legislators in our state capital. After graduating Bridget continued to guide and mentor high school students working to make a difference. She’s worked at United Way of Anchorage, and at an after school program. Bridget is currently taking time off from school to get her mom elected to Congress.
“My mom is my biggest cheerleader. When I was fourteen and asked her about the possibility of taking a year to homeschool and focus on my music and theater, she reorganized her life to make it a reality. When I was fifteen and told her 'I think I like girls and boys,' she filled my life with love and support. When I was sixteen and came home complaining about teachers in my school being cut, she didn’t say 'oh that’s too bad,' she said, 'well what are we going to do about it?' Her ability to see through any problem, any crisis, any frustration and focus on the solution is what I admire most in her. And that's why I'm working every day to make sure she's Alaska's first Congresswoman.”
Sean recently graduated from NYU Law School. His commitment to public service has been with him from a young age; he and his band The Asteroids won an Alaska Spirit of Youth Award for their work providing live music for non-profit events in and around Anchorage. In college, Sean volunteered at a non-profit environmental law firm in Portland, and worked as campaign manager for promising State House candidate Pete LaFrance in Palmer. Sean continued to work for the public interest in law school, serving as a legal intern for the New York State Department of Financial Services' Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Division and for the New York Attorney General's Labor Bureau.
"Mom never let us forget how fortunate we were for what we had. No matter how tough things seemed, we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, and loving parents. We saw how hard she and my dad worked to guarantee us those things, but she always made sure we understood that not everyone is so lucky. By example, she taught us compassion and fearlessness, and instilled in us a duty to give back to our community."
Cooper is a PhD student studying Biophysics at Stanford University. His mother inspired him to always pick science research projects based on whether they address a major societal need. Cooper has researched the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease, how to make materials for a giant battery to permit greater renewable energy adoption into the US power-grid, and diabetes prevention policy to reduce suffering and wasteful spending on healthcare. During graduate school, Cooper started a student organization to connect professional scientists with low-income high school students to work on open projects in science/technology. In every case, his mother was a source of moral guidance and enthusiasm!
"I am fortunate to have role models like my parents. Because of them I know the joy of engaging with my community. A guiding principle from my mom that she has repeated over and over throughout my adolescence and adulthood, 'It doesn’t matter how smart you are, what matters is if you are making other people’s lives better.'
One of my earliest memories is of my mom rehearsing for her part as Maria in the Sound of Music. She dedicated herself to the part and absolutely was a star. Ever since then, even when my family was busiest, up against financial pressures, my parents continued to be active participants in their community helping to make it better. My mom is a community builder, contributing to the local folk arts movements and advocating for students across the state to the state legislature."