Reposted from Fresno State News – May 19, 2018

Patricio Galindo was awarded one of the University’s top academic honors at Fresno State’s 107th Commencement Saturday, May 19, at the Save Mart Center.

Galindo, of Selma, was chosen from a group of nine Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists as the President’s Medalist, the University’s top honor for an undergraduate student. He earned a bachelor’s in social work from the College of Health and Human Services with a 3.85 GPA after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Galindo pictured with University President, Joseph I. Castro. May 19, 2018. Photo: Cary Edmondson

In 2009, Galindo enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and in 2010 deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. His seven months there changed his life.

Galindo earned eight medals while serving the country, including a Certificate of Appreciation from former Vice President Joe Biden when his unit helped handle the protection of President Barack Obama during a visit to Hawaii.

He returned home in 2013 after earning the rank of sergeant, but had trouble adjusting to civilian life and suffered from PTSD and bilateral hearing loss. Still, Galindo used his GI Bill to attend Fresno City College before transferring to Fresno State.

Galindo is a member of the American Legion Selma Post 12, which last year donated over $12,500 in student scholarships. He also created a resolution and presented in front of Congress to help veterans receive proper recognition. At Fresno State, he created the first social work honor society, Chi Nu, and worked to send care packages to military during the holidays.

Galindo was among the over 6,000 graduates recognized at the 107th University Commencement. May 19, 2018. Photo: Cary Edmondson

Galindo interned at Phoenix Secondary Academy, mentoring troubled students in need of guidance. He will pursue his master’s degree at Fresno State and plans to become a school social worker.

Galindo’s late brother, Julian, previously attended Fresno State but died in a car accident involving a drunk driver a semester short of graduation. “I feel that it is now my job to walk across that stage for the both of us,” Galindo said, “to make him and my family proud and be the first of nine children to earn a bachelor’s degree.”

On May 17th, Galindo and his wife, Serena, welcomed their first child into the world – a baby boy named Patricio. In the fall, Galindo will begin the Master of Social Work program at Fresno State.

Video above courtesy of ABC30 Action News. 

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