Gabriel Cooks, a second year Mechanical Engineering Technology student at Alfred State College, is a student leader active in support of the village fire department. He has responded to numerous calls rendering life-saving aid to fellow students as well as residents of the greater Alfred, NY area. He has leveraged his volunteer work in the larger community to encourage others to donate blood as well as volunteer in support of the fire department. He has also worked to build capacity by serving as liaison between University Police and the fire department for a joint public service fundraiser. Gabriel is dedicated to supporting emergency services making the community a safe place for all.
I was born and raised in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of East New York, Brooklyn where drugs and violence were a visible everyday occurrence. Nevertheless, my parents raised me with values of professionalism, integrity, and the now internalized creed that I should never define myself by my surroundings. I took this to heart and joined an NYPD program where we cleaned up graffiti and neighborhood parks. During my first semester of college, I joined the local volunteer fire department, and I cemented the idea that I would dedicate my life to community service. The feeling of changing someone's day from a 3/10 to a 7/10 with professional medical care and firefighting tactics is an extraordinary feeling. It is always a great honor to serve my community with steadfast devotion and enthusiastic determination. It humbles me not only to serve others without expecting reimbursement but also to be able to motivate those around me to help others and to understand and respect counterparts in different aspects of their lives. I am looking into a career as a law enforcement officer where I will make a meaningful impact on the lives of those I interact with.