The Wingspan

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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Women’s History Month: Frances Galante

“With life and maturity and experience, you gain a voice, and you become more positively aggressive in asserting that voice among your peers.”
Womens History Month: Frances Galante
Yeseo Lim

Centennial Social Studies teacher Frances Galante has been through ups and downs throughout her life that helped to lead her to the success she has reached today. From her challenging childhood to her experiences in the military, Galante has not only worked for every opportunity she has accomplished, but has proven that women are just as capable as men. 

Galantes’ childhood was different from most. She grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a neighborhood that was impoverished at the time. At only 15 years old, Galante was living an independent life. She had come from an unstable home, with no dad and a mom who was often absent. She was put into a group home with other teens where a social worker would come once in a while. She recalls that it was not a great environment to be in, especially in the late 70s and 80s, when the support system in the program was not the same as it is now. Eventually, she left to finish up her high school career with her friend’s parents and graduated at only 16 years old, where she moved on quickly to the path of higher education and work.

Galante continued to push stereotypes of women as she entered the military in the army reserves and took up a position as a weapons and ammunition specialist, which was a non-traditional job for a woman. In this difficult position, Galante experienced a significant amount of harassment; however, she said that the experiences only made her tougher as an individual and put emphasis on the abilities of women. 

All while pursuing her grueling yet rewarding position in the military, Galante attended Notre Dame of Maryland, which was at the time an all women’s college, on a full scholarship. She had a double major and double minor in Poly Sci, History, Public Administration and Law.

For Galante, being a mother is an important part of her identity as a woman. As a cancer survivor, she was not able to have children, so she and her husband chose to adopt internationally. Galante explains how former Centennial art teacher Nan Collins helped them through the process. “I actually wound up using the same adoptive attorney in South America that she used to get her daughters.” For her, choosing to adopt from South America was an easy process because she worked for the Department of Justice in the International Terrorist Center for two years, where she tracked the finances of terrorist groups, so she speaks Spanish and has traveled often to Central and South America. Currently her two daughters are 23 and 24 years old, and she is soon to be a grandma.

Throughout the crazy ups and downs of her life, Galante has always remained positive, and hopes to spread the message that women are just as capable as men. “With life and maturity and experience, you gain a voice, and you become more positively aggressive in asserting that voice among your peers.” Galante acknowledges the importance of being open to the learning experience and that “women in particular need to take hold of their power both politically, economically and socially.”

“Women carry a lot of burden in life, of being a mother, of working professionally, sometimes being a caretaker to older relatives … we carry a lot on our plate and I think there is still more work to be done in the sense of society supporting, in an equitable way, everyone,” Galante stated. 


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About the Contributors
Abby Rothrock, Photo Editor
Yeseo Lim, Copy Editor