Brooke Galloway, a third year student at Central Michigan University, is a student leader dedicated to ensuring every child’s school experiences include healthy activities, access to healthy food options, and a college positive environment. For the past two years she served as a mentor and program coordinator for the Lunch Buddies program. In this program, Brooke partners with five local school districts to coordinate weekly visits of more than 120 college students with elementary student mentees each academic year. Brooke is working to start an equine assisted learning facility for youth experiencing the juvenile justice system upon graduation.
Just as a wound on our skin needs fresh air and medicine to heal from the inside out, so too do the wounds and injustices of our society need special care to heal correctly and fully. I believe that the most effective way to address the root causes of social issues is to have open and honest dialogues with those affected most by the “wounds” of society and bring the issues to the surface. No one can clean up a mess without stepping into the mess first, so bringing the root causes of social issues to the surface through effective dialogue provides the space for anger, misunderstanding, sadness, bitterness, and other emotions to melt away and instead create shared meaning and understanding. Looking toward the future, I am excited for the opportunities provided by Central Michigan University to conduct research and work with faculty and staff to participate in active and positive social justice work. I am specifically devoted to listening to the needs of children labeled as “at-risk” and creating programming that will give those children the advantages they deserve. Our world needs more than good intentions, but intentional kindness and decisive action to make real change a reality.