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What was your experience like in public school?
I didn’t like it because they put me in the mini program, which I don’t think in the end was helpful for me. I was stuck with a lot of troublesome kids, and I didn’t really fit in with them. All the classes were super chaotic, we never got anything done, a lot of people were getting in trouble: it was really frustrating to go to school. So, in Grade 10 I started coming to BrainBoost.
If you can think back to your first day at BB, what was your first impression of the Hub, and the people here?
There was always a really good vibe that was happening. It seemed very fun. That was my first opinion.
I know that you started here in the summer. After your experience there, what helped you make the decision to come to BrainBoost full-time?
I was talking to Markie about it. I used to come here for tutoring sessions with Rachel, and I would come here an hour early and I would sit in the lounge and all the after school kids would be there, and it was really fun to just listen to the stuff that they said. And I was talking to Markie about how it would be really cool to come here, but it’s just not affordable. And then he said ‘Let’s make this happen!’
How would you describe the culture or the atmosphere at BB?
I would describe it as mind-opening. There’s a lot of different people, and you learn how other people do things. This place really taught me how to be cautious of other people, and be more non-judgemental. Before BrainBoost, I didn’t know about ADHD or Asperger’s, or people who had any of that kind of that stuff. Or dyslexia, and I kind of felt alone in a way, and then when I came here, it was very welcoming, and I just felt like I belonged at BrainBoost.
Can you describe what the teachers are like at BB?
There are some interesting folk. They’re youthful. I feel like when you have younger teachers, you can connect with them and talk to them easier than if you had a teacher who was 60 years old, and you can’t really have a personal connection with a teacher like that. But here, the teachers allow you to have personal connections, and be a friend in a way, even though we’re not allowed to be friends.
What makes BB different?
A lot of things. I don’t know, you’d never find a dog running around. I wish that dog loved people, though. It’s too late to earn her love, she’s too old. Lauren was lucky, she met Brinley when she was a puppy.
How do you think BB has supported your learning disabilities?
I’m not sure. The teachers here know how to teach. They’ve learned from so many different learning aspects that they know how to go ‘if you don’t get this angle, let’s try this angle.’ And they really work to make you understand what’s happening. There’s a teacher for each person’s learning style. Mark Van for example is really good for people like Oscar or Lev, who’s really logical, or can get stuff easily. There’s people like Markie who can teach my learning style. It’s hard to explain. But every teacher has a special teaching way which works for a lot of students.
I know you started doing D&D last year. Why do you think D&D is good for kids?
I think D&D really learns teamwork skills, good communication, and really boosts your imagination, which is really important. It’s just generally fun. But I really do think the two main things are communication and teamwork: D&D really helps you with that.
Where is your journey taking you next? What are you doing after BB?
I’m going to go to Langara, and just take some basic courses, and just experience the world. And then probably after that, I will apply to the RMT program. That’s my plan.
The last one: Describe BrainBoost in three words.
Inclusive, whack, and magical.