Just a year ago, Brooke LePage ’19 was preparing for her own graduation from Trinity College. Now, in a world that has changed drastically since she received her degree, she is hard at work from her home in Arlington, Virginia and adapting to life while social distancing.

Brooke LePage ’19 and Abby Painchaud ’18 attending a book festival in DC last summer. The two now participate in a virtual book club.

LePage, who typically researches education policy for her job, has now pivoted to writing and research about COVID-19 and its impact on education. Like many employees now, she and her colleagues are working hard to stay in touch—and have had to shift to online meeting platforms as they adapt to a newly remote workplace.

LePage is also maintaining her social connections while spending time at home—she and her friend and Arlington neighbor Abby Painchaud ’18 have been staying connected the old fashioned way. “Abby and I have begun writing handwritten notes to one another as a fun way to keep in touch.” She said, noting that she and Painchaud have also been participating in a virtual book club with other Trinity graduates. She has also been working in a few virtual happy hours when she can.

One of the food pantry booths in LePage’s Arlington, VA neighborhood.

In spite of the challenges of a newly remote life, LePage is enjoying the small kindnesses she sees around her during this time. She notes, “My community has been amazing—all of the little free libraries and other stands that have cleaning/food supplies community members can take have been stocked in my neighborhood. Community members are constantly stocking them with books, food and supplies. My local library also had a drive a few days ago for masks and other resources.” For her own daily inspiration, she is looking to her own family, and stories of healthcare workers, and educators who are working hard to support students while social distancing.

LePage continues to think of her fellow Bantams during this time, “Although the beauty of the campus is undeniable, it’s the friends that become family that make Trinity home. My heart goes out to all current students not able to be on campus, especially seniors.” She has already done her part to make an impact for Trinity students, by making a gift to the Student Emergency and Equity Fund, which supports students who have unexpected financial needs. LePage is also sharing her experience and keeping in touch with prospective and current students through the Bantam Career Network and Bantam Ambassador Network. She has also satisfied her craving for Trinity culture by ordering a loaf of the Peter B’s pumpkin bread from Elle & Q Bakers to be delivered to her.

A little free library where LePage’s neighbors have been sharing books.

Brooke urges that now is the time to tap into the generosity and connectivity for which Bantams are famous. “I want to implore alumni to find ways to give back—whether it be a donation to the student equity and emergency fund, or helping a student find a job or an internship through the Bantam Career Network, or just checking in with current students or fellow alumni. Community has never been more important.”

And for a fun way to stay positive during this time, LePage also adds, “If you haven’t checked out John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” videos, you really have to.”


Contact Tess Dudek-Rolon if you would like to be featured in our next “Bantam Check-in”. We want to hear from you!