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2002 Graduate – Brandon Pederson


Brandon PedersonBefore the arrival of European settlers in the nineteenth century, what is now Vancouver was inhabited by the Squamish and Musqueam aboriginal tribes. In 1791 the Spanish explorer Jose Maria Narvaez, aboard the Santa Saturnina, mapped much of the Vancouver area. On June 12th, 1792, Captain George Vancouver came to the area aboard the Discovery, and began mapping it for England. The two explorers met but, given the seeming worthlessness of the land, hostilities over title did not arise. Both explorers were more interested in finding a route connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans (the fabled ‘North-West Passage’) than in acquiring and settling the Northwest coast of the continent. It was not until 1827 that the first permanent European settlement in the area, Fort Langely (approximately 50 kilometers inland from present-day Vancouver), was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1858 the discovery of gold brought 25,000 prospectors to the lower mainland (what is now Vancouver and its surrounding communities). Also in that year, British Columbia was formally declared a British Colony, with James Douglas the first governor and the city of New Westminister (15 kilometers from downtown Vancouver) later named as the colony’s capital. On April 6,1886 the City of Vancouver became incorporated.

Vancouver’s stunning natural locale and buoyant economy has made the city an attractive destination for many across the globe as a new home. The communities, which Vancouver boasts, are varied, and the cultural diversity of the city is one of its pre-eminent characteristics.

And, speaking of pre-eminent characteristics, please meet Mr. Brandon Pederson. As you could surmise, Brandon lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Small wonder he is interested in becoming a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. One problem existed for Brandon in his desire to be a “Coasty.” The Coast Guard requires it’s members to be high school graduates. Brandon knew this, and he knew the Coast Guard does not accept GEDs.

Mr. Pederson completed his diploma requirements and earned a Citizens’ High School diploma last December. He earned it with a strong 3.6 GPA. The Coast Guard was more than willing to accept his diploma. Brandon is now in the Coast Guard and studying hard once again. He is now working diligently on another goal. He is in the Electrician’s program with the Coast Guard.

Brandon explained to us “Public high school wasn’t good for me.” Unfortunately, he did not elaborate. We can only guess that the large class sizes, poor quality instruction, school violence, or the removal of God, motivated him to seek alternate means to earn a diploma. We are grateful that he did and that he found us. Brandon sought us out by using the Internet.

The time between finishing his diploma requirements and reporting for duty in the Coast Guard, Brandon has enjoyed a few of his favorite pastimes. He takes pleasure in tinkering with cars, snowboarding, and water skiing.

Citizens’ High School takes great pride in Mr. Brandon Pederson. We are not only proud of the fact that he independently earned a high school diploma from us, we are proud that he will put himself in harm’s way to defend us and our way of life against all enemies, foreign and domestic!

Mr. Brandon Pederson is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for March 2002.