An Antioch “Lifer” Recognized for Her Life Commitment to Antioch
Life-long resident Trine Gallegos has been named the “Citizen of the Year” in Antioch by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. This year’s Gala will be held on March 8th at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center in Antioch, California. Trine explained that she is still “overwhelmed” that people have recognized her work, but continually emphasized that “this is all a team effort” and “really just a nice way for people to get a glimpse of all the good that is happening in our schools.”
The Honor of Being Nominated
The honor of being nominated for Citizen of the Year is one that most people take to heart. Winning the prestigious award can be overwhelming and even awe-inspiring for many. In Trine’s case, she explained it as “craziness.” She clarified with so many people in Antioch doing so much good work, she is proud to be recognized as being part of the movement, but still has not yet quite grasped the enormity of being named the Citizen of the Year.
Every year, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce goes through an intricate nomination and selection process to determine who should be recognized as the “Citizen of the Year.” The committee looks at what an individual has contributed to the community and the overarching impact of the contributions. The nomination applications demand a detailed narrative of the programs to demonstrate the acts of giving and contribution that each person brings to the table.
A “Treasure Hunt”
Perhaps what brought Trine and her commitment to Antioch into the spotlight was her roles as a “treasure hunter” and “match-maker” at Antioch High School, where she currently serves within the role of “Community Outreach.” And at first listen, this might raise an eye-brow, a few minutes listening to Trine talk about her work while watching a growing glint of passion in her eyes, it all begins to make sense.
Trine’s work at Antioch High School was initially centered on planning events and bringing the community into partnership with the school. However, the longer Trine spent time at the high school she began to learn, and understand the students, the needs for materials, programs, and supplies. Trine made it her mission to ensure that she found the resources Antioch high needed and match the materials with the right people on campus. And as she did this, Trine brought both the school, and the community at large into the spotlight, highlighting students and many local support services, such as the animal shelter and the growing Antioch Police Department.
The treasure hunts and match-making projects Trine has undertaken over the last six years are dynamic and diverse. Her first project started with a newly formed Bike Club. The club was filled with excited students. School leaderships were ready to bring health and wellness programs into the school with a new, non-competitive and inclusive twist. The only problem was that there were no bikes. Trine took on the challenge and soon found enough bikes to provide for every student interested in joining the club. She explained that she took on the challenge and thought, not only was it fun, it was fulfilling!
The Bike Club was the first of many programs that Trine has helped develop at Antioch High School. The “Panther Pantry” is another program that started as a simple campus food pantry that allowed students with need to come and grab something to eat when they needed it. As time progressed, AHS partnered with the Contra Costa Food Bank to provide a robust pantry where students and their family can access food supplies throughout the year.
Around the holidays, the “Panther Pantry” grows into a Holiday Pantry where gloves, socks, toys, gifts, food and other household items overfill barrels and the pantry stockroom. In 2018, Trine and her student volunteers were able to provide for a total of 900 students and adults! Trine explained that the best part of the entire pantry program is that at least 100 students work with her at the Warm for the Holidays Pantry. From collecting donations, to organizing to giving, she credits the success of the program on the commitment of Antioch High Students. She said the event itself is joyful – but it is heartwarming and inspiring to see all of the students helping, especially when many of those helping are perhaps those that need the most help.
Other programs that Trine has developed and continues to work to maintain include a Graduation Parade, where graduating Seniors are invited to tour local elementary and middle schools. This has been a powerful event to give recognition to the graduating seniors, and perhaps remind them of what a powerful accomplishment graduating is. It also works to inspire and motivate younger generations to continue on with school and show them it is possible to graduate.
Working in partnership with the Antioch Animal Shelter, Trine brought animals and students together. “Panther Tails” kicks off during cross-country season, where runners warm up at the Antioch Animal Shelter and take sheltered dogs and puppies for runs. Not only does this add a bit of playfulness to a long run, it is a great service. The animal shelter often lack the support and volunteer staff they need to truly provide exercise to all the animals in their care. The cross-country team fills a gap that is much needed by the community at large.
Another powerful program that Trine has brought to the youth of Antioch High School, and the Antioch student community overall, is a program called the Girl Power Leadership Group. This project is one in which Trine leads planning and facilitating of monthly meetings and runs annual programs at both AHS and Antioch Middle School. Through much success at Antioch High, this program has been expanded to Dozier Libby and Antioch Middle Schools.
A Commitment to Community and Youth
Trine considers herself a “lifer” in Antioch. Not only is she an active citizen today, Trine grew up in Antioch and attended local Antioch schools and is a proud graduate of Antioch High School, where she happily has found her home professionally. Throughout our entire conversation, her energy was contagious and her love, compassion, and commitment to Antioch and Antioch students was undeniable.
The continual message was “I love what I’m doing.” She repeatedly spoke about how her job allowed her to see all the good within the city and within the students at Antioch High. With all the negative press the city is often plagued with, she emphasized how there are great things happening in the city every single day and “the negativity doesn’t come close to outweighing the good in the city.”
Trine realizes that much has changed in Antioch, and at the high school, since she was a young girl. But, she also was quick to talk about all the good people doing so much unrecognized good work. She also spoke of how inspired she was by the people she worked with, including the student, local police services, school staff and faculty and the city council. She also focused on how the core of the community in Antioch always was fast to come together in a time of need and that she is committed to showing off the good side of the city that is often overlooked.
Trine ended our conversation explaining that she loved her work, but only was successful because of the people she worked with. She also thought it was exciting that finally people would be able to see what is actually happening within the schools. Trine said she is blown away by the intelligence, hard-work, creativity and generosity of Antioch High Students every day…and that it was time the rest of Antioch was able to see them in the same light as she did.
How to Become Part of the Celebration
Trine Gallegos is the epitome of the positive work that is happening in Antioch. The exciting part is, good work is no longer going unrecognized. Tickets to the Gala are currently available at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, or for purchase online. Celebrate Trine Gallegos and celebrate Antioch.
If you are looking for more ways to support the good work of Trine at Antioch High, reach out to us for more giving opportunities.