Getting Stuck In: Meet Jennifer Mason
April 1, 2021
Strathmore Park Community Centre’s co-ordinator, Jennifer Mason grew up in the US but is now raising her own family in Berhampore. We asked her five quick questions.
Your upbringing in a small California mountain town instilled a drive to help others …
My mother, especially, taught me that each of us has the obligation to work towards healing the world. I used to volunteer alongside her packing food parcels and distributing them to those in need. I always knew that whatever I did in life, I would be driven to do my part.
You joined the Strathmore Community Centre late last year, what drew you to the role?
I am a community organiser at heart, I love connecting with people and solving problems. I am excited to be able to use these strengths to create fun and meaningful programming for the community, who I have already learnt so much from.
Every day I look forward to coming to work to be part of this amazing place. Of course, there are never enough hours in the day, which presents its challenges.
Your school holiday programmes are a hit. What have you got in store for April?
The April school holidays are shaping up to be super fun. Craig, the skateboarding instructor, is back by popular demand. Bunnings and City Gallery Wellington will also drop by to lead art and craft activities.
As a parent, I’m know how important it is to keep kids occupied during the holidays, and also that holiday programmes are often out of reach for many families. We aim to create programmes that are packed with fun AND accessible to all.
What do you enjoy doing after work …?
We love to get out and explore the region. I recently took a carload of my kids and their friends to the Wainuiomata Pool for the first time and we were there almost the whole day, it was so much fun! We also enjoy an afternoon at the Dowse Art Museum, café, and adjacent gardens and playground.
Favourite books or TV?
My daughter and I are watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I read the books as a child and I really appreciate this modern adaptation. It treats complicated issues thoughtfully and, without being overly scary, allows for the fact that life can be extraordinarily unfair at times.
I just finished reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. It was a mind-opening read that links the American system of hierarchy to that of other nations. The book is thoroughly researched and Wilkerson is an incredible storyteller. It’s one of those books that I can’t stop thinking about.