Pop, punk ... and police work? Stagg student’s interests run the gamut
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent July 5, 2013 2:50PM
Gabe Gallo is a Palos Heights police cadet at Stagg High School in Palos Heights, Illinois, Monday, April 22, 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 9, 2013 6:21AM
Attention, all teens with a career path in mind: It is never too soon to start working toward your goal.
That’s the lesson learned from Gabriel “Gabe” Gallo, who will be a senior at Stagg High School in the coming school year.
Gallo, 17, would like to go into law enforcement. His plan is to work as a patrolman for a few years and then join the FBI or become a member of an elite SWAT team.
Wanting to get a head start on his career path, he applied to be a police cadet in his hometown of Palos Heights a year ago, at the start of his junior year in high school.
“One of my good friends was in it years ago, so because I want to go into law enforcement, I filled out an application. And as soon as I walked out of the police station, they called me back,” he said.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“We do a lot of community service,” he said. “Everything from working teen ‘mixers’ for the park district to providing traffic control and moving cars in and out of parking lots for marathons and the local July 4 event at the Palos baseball fields.
“I assist people in whatever they need,” said Gallo, the son of Gail and William Gallo. “I just like being a part of something, having something to do and I’m helping out people.”
His role model is his father.
“He doesn’t work for the police anymore, but he was a sergeant in Willow Springs years ago and he told me stories that really fascinated me. A lot of my family members are in police work,” Gallo said.
At Stagg, Gallo plays baseball and is a member of the student ambassadors program, a group of Stagg students who work to welcome new Stagg Chargers into the building and help them feel comfortable in their new school.
“As a counselor, I know that I can always count on Gabe to assist with a new transfer student by giving them a tour of the building, taking them to lunch, and generally serving as a friendly face at their new school,” said Beth Gulden, a counselor at Stagg.
Outside of school, Gallo is committed to the band he is in, which recently had several local gigs. Gallo is the bass player for Half the Battle, a five-member band.
The pop/punk band started nearly two years ago when Stagg hosted its version of the popular television show “American Idol.” It placed second in the competition, and then the group joined Mark Alan, a promoter with Chicago Rock Promotions.
“He gets us our shows, while other times we get people calling up and asking for shows,” said Gallo, adding that the band has opened for Aaron Carter, an American pop singer whose brother is Nick Carter, of the boy band “Backstreet Boys.”
Gallo started playing music at age 13 when he got a guitar for Christmas from his parents. He taught himself how to play using Guitar Hero, a video game.
“My parents support me in everything I do and they have some really good advice for me. They never let me down. Especially my mom, she’s really sharp on things and gives me the right answer, and my dad, too,” he said.
“I’m adopted, and my parents have adopted four kids, so I have three siblings. My mom is an amazing woman. She adopted all these kids and works at a flower shop she owns in Burbank, too. She does it all for us.”
For more information on Gallo and his band, visit the “Half the Battle” page on facebook.com.