Political science student gets a taste of D.C. lifestyle
Although Washington, D.C., isn’t your typical summer vacation hotspot, Capitol Hill holds plenty of excitement for Temple political science major Juan Galeano.
Galeano is one of just 34 college students nationwide who are serving out internships with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, a Hispanic education and youth leadership development organization.
Galeano, who is primarily interested in local politics, said his time spent with Congress has taught him about the importance of civic service on a local, national and global level.
“What happens in the walls of Congress pretty much effects the entire world,” he said.
“It’s been really eye-opening to see this level of responsibility.”
CHCI placed Galeano in the office of New York Congressman Gregory Meeks, where, in addition to conducting legislative research, monitoring daily Capitol Hill hearings and participating in CHCI leadership development sessions, Galeano has had the opportunity to sit in on a number of meetings with the House Committee on International Relations.
“I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really interesting top officials and make great connections,” he said. “I’ve met the ambassador of Honduras, the energy minister from Venezuela and a congressman from Nigeria. I’ve been really lucky with my placement and have been able to sit in on many meetings and see what Congress is really like.”
Galeano, a rising junior set to take over the role as vice president of Temple Student Government in the fall, said he’d always been interested in local politics, but studied international relations when he first got to Temple. After familiarizing himself with his new North Philadelphia surroundings, Galeano altered his focus.
“I look at what’s going on in the community, and there is so much that needs to be done, and it’s a matter of making sure that someone takes care of those needs,” he said. “I’ve put that on myself to become that person.”
In addition to studying politics at the local level, Galeano’s tenure at Temple has included time with Temple Volunteers and Habitat for Humanity.
Although Galeano said that becoming a congressman is “definitely something to consider,” he first plans to head to grad school, where he would like to study public policy and economics.
For now, Galeano is looking forward to his upcoming term as TSG vice president. In addition to implanting some of the federal government’s structure at the Temple level (“I’d like to see more of a traditional structure at TSG,” he says), he also plans to ratchet up the profile of Temple Cares Day, held each October; this year, Galeano hopes to send 1,000 Temple students volunteers to lend a hand in the communities of Philadelphia.
“My focus,” Galeano said, “is the empowerment of people who don’t seem to have a voice in government.”
© 2006 TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
Open the original version of this page.