The Face Behind the Mask: Brooklyn Vanderkemp

This week’s Face Behind the Mask is Brooklyn Vanderkemp, a student and part-time gas jockey. In both roles Brooklyn has been working to support others in our community.

We appreciate the efforts of all front-line and essential workers in our community who, like Brooklyn, keep our community a happy, helpful place.

Q: If you had to describe your experience of the pandemic in one word, what would it be?

A: Restful

Q: What is one way you have helped/reached out to someone else during the pandemic?

A: I and a group of other students at Brooks wanted to help spread joy during the pandemic at Christmas. We made Christmas cards and wrote letters for the Willingdon Creek Senior’s Centre. 

Q: What is one way someone has helped/reached out to you?

A: My teachers have been extremely understanding and helpful while we navigate high school during COVID. They help us follow the COVID guidelines, and are also an ear when we get frustrated about the social distancing rules. 

Q: What would you say is the most important thing that is helping you get through the pandemic?

A: Taking time to spend time outside. Most of my sports have been canceled. Usually I would be either at practice or traveling to soccer games or track meets (or both) during the busy weekends. During the pandemic I have used that time to explore the backcountry of Powell River through biking, snowshoeing, and hiking. Find something you love doing on the weekends so you have something to look forward to in these tough times. 

Q: What has been the most difficult thing about the pandemic for you?

A:  Well, I’m a teenager, during lockdown… It’s hard for us sometimes, we don’t love that our last year and a half of high school is different than normal. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?

A: Take note of the little things every day that make you happy. Know this is not forever, we will get through this.

Q: What is a good thing that has happened to you because of the pandemic?

A: Surprisingly, school has become a lot less stressful now that we are in a quarter system. Instead of juggling four courses, extracurriculars, sports, and a job I am able to focus only on two courses at a time, which helps create a balanced schedule.

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As of March 15, Vancouver Coastal Health will be offering a public vaccination site located on the upper level of the Powell River Recreation Complex.

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