Bronson Ramos

Lakecity youth not afraid of a little hard work

Diana French

Special to the Tribune

There is a lot of talk these days about young people’s lack of work ethic. Some say the young ones don’t want to work, they think the world owes them a living and they shouldn’t have to work for it. That may be true, but many young people work more than one job, either to save for their dream — or to make a livable wage. The following young people are typical of the ones who are not afraid to work:


Bronson Ramos worked two jobs for a number of years to support himself while he was interning as a tattoo artist. Born in Chilliwack, Bronson was two when his family came to the Williams Lake area — Spokin Lake Road to be specific — and he’s been here ever since. He went to the 150 Elementary School and Williams Lake Secondary.

Bronson began drawing when he was two. His mother kept photos of his early work.

“She was sure I was going to be a famous artist,” he says with a grin.

While he was at elementary school he had some out- of -school art tutoring. He hasn’t become as famous as his mother expected, but he is an artist.

While he was at secondary school he worked at different fast food outlets and while he liked meeting people, he didn’t like the pay. After graduating he took full time employment with Domino’s Pizza and then Save-On Foods. Along the way, a friend introduced him to Trevor Todorowich who has the Twisted and Tortured tattoo shop. When Trevor learned that Bronson was interested in art, he had him do some designs for him, and then hired him part time as an apprentice. After four and a half years at Save-On, Bronson left to join Trevor full-time in 2016. Designing for tattoos is tricky, the design has to fit—placement on body, colour of skin, age of skin and of course it has to be what the client wants. Clients vary in age –16 to over 60, and tattoos range from small to full body.

Bronson likes to cook, and his hobbies are building plastic robot models and cosplay — creating costumes and dressing up as comic characters. The latter pastime has a large following — 90,000 people attended a three-day convention in Calgary this year. Smaller conventions are held in B.C.


Ashley Van Wyck, 19, has two jobs. She has worked three jobs at a time and would do it again if she could find one that fit her schedule. At the moment she works weekends on clean up and spark watching at West Fraser Mill, and week days as a homemaker for the Better at Home program that assists seniors with simple daily tasks to help them keep their independence. The hours of work depend on how many clients need the service and when they need it. Ashley does light housekeeping and she enjoys it. She says all she has to do is satisfy her clients. Also, she says, it’s nice to report to someone who doesn’t look down on you.

Like other young people, she appreciates a job with a living wage where you are treated with respect.

Ashley grew up on a farm in the Spokin Lake area with “three sisters, kind parents, and many animals.” Her days were filled with school work, feeding and watering animals, and other farm chores. She was in 4H, at different times with the Rose Lake Club and the Big Lake Club. For her projects she raised sheep and swine. She attended 150 Mile Elementary, then was home- schooled before attending, and graduating from Williams Lake Secondary.

“My parents raised us to earn our own way, to work for what we wanted, and to be grateful for what we have,” she says. The girls started working young with their designated chores on the farm. Ashley had her first “off the property’” job at Thyme for Tea at 150 Mile House when she was 16. Since then she’s had a number of jobs, ranging from waitressing to the mill work. The latter job pays well and she’s kept it.

Her dream is to one day have her own business.


Priya Parmar is 19 years old. Her goal in life is to be independent, and she has been working in that direction since she graduated from Williams Lake Secondary in 2016.

Priya was born in Williams Lake and attended elementary and secondary school here. At 16, she began working at different fast food outlets and the Tolko Soda Creek Mill. Since graduating she stayed with clean-up and spark watching at Tolko, and added cashier at Walmart. She worked at Walmart during the week and at Tolko Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6am to 3 p.m. She had to be at Walmart by 4 p.m. so that took some fast footwork. She was also working toward a degree in Business Administration. The juggling act will come to an end in September when she leaves for Kamloops to attend TRU and complete her degree.

Priya’s family has always been supportive, always there if she needed them, “but I want to do things on my own,” she says. She focuses on her own life and keeping a balance. When she isn’t working –or sleeping – Priya hangs out with friends and spends time with her family

Pryia is no stranger to taking responsibilities. She is the oldest of three. Her mother was in poor health for some time before she died in 2014 and Priya helped look after her mom and her younger siblings.

The next step in independence is the move to Kamloops. Priya has a house there and she’ll be on her own, but she’ll have her dog Bella. She doesn’t know anyone in the city but this doesn’t daunt her, she says she’ll be taking five courses a semester and that won’t leave much time for a social life. After graduation, her long-term goal is to join either the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).


Anya Paloposki has found a job that meets most young people’s requirements. She is a salesperson at Windsor Plywood, is on a salary with benefits and has a regular work schedule. Not many such jobs are available as people tend to keep them.

Anya is 23. She was born and raised in Williams Lake, attended Nesika Elementary School and graduated from Williams Lake Secondary School. She had a number of the usual part-time jobs between leaving school and going to work for Windsor. Her long -term goal is to go to hair dressing school.

The cost of housing is always an issue for young singles and to help in that direction, Anya has recently moved into an apartment with three friends. There has been one unexpected consequence of the move. Many young people have pets, and Anya has a female cat, Kenya. One of her new roommates has an older neutered Tom cat who has lived in the apartment long enough to think he owns it. Kenya is strong minded and the two don’t get along. The results have been somewhat chaotic for the humans in the establishment. Fortunately Anya’s former roommate will take Kenya who probably won’t mind going to her “other mom.”

Anya has a number of hobbies, all on the arty, crafty side. First, she likes to draw, mostly spooky things, she says, with Halloween being her favourite holiday to illustrate. She also enjoys cosplay and she makes costumes, mostly copied from comic book characters. Last but not least, she does cross-stitch.

“I haven’t gotten good enough at that yet to make my own designs, ” she says.

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Priya Parmar

Ashley Van Wyck

Anya Paloposki

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