At 12-years old, most boys show up to school just in time for the bell to ring. That is not the case for Connor; by the time classes start, this young man has prepared more food than the majority of us would prepare in a week!
Connor lives with his mom Gwen (and his ferret Johnny) in Coquitlam, BC. He also volunteers at the breakfast program of his school, Maillard Middle. This means he shows up at school well before the other students to help fix the morning meal that many will enjoy before class: ‘I cook eggs and pancakes, I prepare toast and even smoothies’. His favorite breakfast item to prepare? ‘The smoothies for sure, because I get to ‘test’ them, but I like fruit salads, too’.
When he is not cooking at school or at home – yes, he sometimes cooks a full breakfast for his mom too – Connor is an active kid. His favorite class is gym and he plays badminton and hockey. For a while though, he was on the shy side. According to Gwen, his volunteer experience has been beneficial on that front: ‘It helped him socially, he made new friends through his school’. She also noticed another change in her son: ‘he is more aware in general, he wants to help people’. Gwen is very supportive of Connor’s engagement in the breakfast program, partially because it is universal: ‘It’s so important because it eliminates the stigma’.
Not only does Conor help with food preparation for his fellow students, he also always makes sure to take a plate of food across the hall for Mr. Seah, Maillard Middle’s music teacher. Said Connor, “He comes in real early to teach the school band, so we try to make sure he gets breakfast too.”
To date, Connor has donated over 70 hours to Maillard Middle’s breakfast program. Will his love and enjoyment of cooking follow him into a culinary career? ‘Maybe, I’m not sure yet. Right now I either want to be a Chef or a Paramedic’. Luckily, this young student still has plenty of time to figure it out. Either way, we at the Club are wishing him great success.*