Within less than 8 months of moving from her lifelong home of Millani Town, HI, South Puget Sound Community College student Brandee Medeiros has become more involved in her new community than many lifetime Puget Sound residents.
She is active in the SPSCC Diversity and Equity Center (DEC), the SPSCC Asian-Pacific Islanders Club, the Olympia Film Society, and the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Black Box Theater.
In her Sounds interview, performed via email, she elaborated on her recent transplant to the mainland, her community involvement, and a few of her favorite things.
“I moved up here to help my mom watch my brother while she was away in Kansas for information operations school for her job in the Army,” said Medeiros. “I had other plans to move to California, but in Hawaii, for most people, family means everything and I would have felt like a complete jerk if I went off and did my own thing.”
According to Medeiros, arriving in the summer made the weather easy to adjust to. Sudden isolation from friends and extended family was a harder transition for the extroverted, enthusiastic 21-year-old.
Fortunately, this spurred her to get involved in the Olympia Film Society.
“I was walking around downtown Olympia applying for jobs and I stumbled across OFS which is volunteer run…I love film so being surrounded by people who equally love the same thing as me leads to interesting conversations,” said Medeiros.
Participating in OFS, getting to know the lay of the town, spending time with her 12-year-old brother, and waiting for fall quarter to start marked Brandee’s first summer in Olympia.
One of the first campus groups that caught Brandee’s eye was the Diversity and Equity Team.
“As far as my transition to SPSCC, let’s just say I’m loving it! It was so easy and I think if I didn’t turn to the DEC things probably would have been a lot different,” said Medeiros.
The DEC filled a void for Medeiros.
“The people and the purpose of DEC can draw in an innumerable amount of students who are looking to feel at ease and looking to find a family, which is exactly what I sought out and found,” said Medeiros.
She has several passions.
“I am passionate about volunteering in the community, music, theatre, film, and traveling,” said Medeiros. “I love to travel to see and experience new cultures and customs.”
Medeiros believes everyone should travel.
“It broadens your perspectives like you never knew it could!”
Medeiros says her favorite stage productions are “Chicago” and “Aida.” As for her favorite movie, “Moulin Rouge…I know all the words!”
Adjusting to Washington weather has been a challenge for Medeiros.
“My family and I arrived during the summer when the sun was especially radiant and I didn’t need to wear 20 articles of clothing,” said Medeiros.
The snow has been particularly stressful.
“I am freezing! I had always wanted to experience snow and now I wish it would stop! Don’t get me wrong; it’s beautiful to look at but that’s about it,” said Medeiros.
She will be part the upcoming STOMP performance on Jan. 18.
“Stomp or Stepping to me is kind of like cheerleading, which my life used to revolve around, minus the smiling and replaced with fierce attitude. Practices have gone well; we have come a long way,” said Medeiros.
As engaged as Medeiros has become in school work, activities, and staying warm in her hometown, her favorite things about life remain unchanged.
“I love food. I love to enjoy myself and a lot of people don’t get to do a lot of that; time is money right? But everyone needs to relax and indulge every so often. It’s good for your health or so I’ve read off of Wikipedia,” said Medeiros.
There is one activity that is, by far, her favorite.
“And last but not least spending time with family and friends which is the most important activity, they are my foundation,” said Medeiros.