Jefferson Award finalist: Vincent Galici

Vincent Galici... Or “Papa” as colleagues call him... Has been counseling troubled youths in Natrona County since 2011.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:09 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In our continuing coverage on the four finalists for this year’s Jefferson Award, we’re proud to present the third.

In our second report, I shared the story of a woman in Casper who leads a charity, that aims to help women feel more comfortable after a mastectomy.

I now met with our third finalist. He’s a man in the Casper area who works with troubled youths as a counselor. Hoping to show them a better way.

Vincent Galici... Or “Papa” as colleagues call him... Has been counseling troubled youths in Natrona County since 2011. He says his life’s mission began when he was a kid... When his parents asked him to help out a classmate.

“And they thought that, through my influence, I could help him out. And they presented me that idea one night after supper. And I didn’t know what to think. (I mean) that’s fine. I knew Ronnie, you know. And so they wanted him to associate with me... That somehow through my influence I could help him out! At eight years old!”

Throughout Natrona County, he has served at places ranging from Evansville Elementary School to The Science Zone to the Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Galici says, “For me, the Juvenile Detention Center, is so important. Because these kids are so confused... So mixed up. I help them understand, as best I can, the possibilities for them. What they’re really capable of. If they get the help they need, receive the help they need, and then apply that help!”

It’s for those exact reasons that his colleague Vernita Lackey at Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc., nominated him for the award. “He wanted to help kids, who are on that point in their life, where they could go either left or right, and he wants to try to make a difference.”

Over the years... Papa Vincent has gotten three college degrees, including a p.h.d. In Christian Thought and Counseling. Though age has slowed him a bit in recent years... His passion to guide and serve troubled teens... Is as strong as ever.

“I was helped out because someone cared more about me than I did. That made a difference for me. And so... It isn’t about me, it’s about somebody else. You can find purpose and meaning and value in your life. And I’m here to help. Any way I can. You can be a happy person...”

We will announce the winner of Wyoming’s Jefferson Award first at a banquet for the finalists, then here on our newscast.

The national ceremony for the Jefferson Awards takes place in Washington, DC.