Chatting With Anastasiia Lapatina

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - By: Will P, Whittall ‘22

Every year, business magazine Forbes releases their 30 Under 30 list, which highlights individuals under the age of 30 who are making an impact in their communities. The 2022 list for Europe has recently been posted, and I encourage you all to take a visit to the website. On the front cover, there are the portraits of three individuals. On the left is international soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé. On the right is TikTok sensation Khabane Lame, who has over 137 million followers on the social media app. In between them, and right in the middle, is 21-year-old Brentwood graduate Anastasiia Lapatina.

Anastasiia has risen to prominence as a reporter for The Kyiv Independent, where she writes about the atrocities currently taking place with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She also has a massively popular Twitter account with over 600,000 followers. Incredibly, she has accomplished all of this as an undergrad student at UBC, only a few years removed from her graduation from Brentwood.

Luckily, our AP Comparative Government and Politics class, as well as some nosy guests, were able to have a conversation with her via Zoom, where we discussed all matters dealing with the war in Ukraine, as well as asking her some personal questions about her experiences after Brentwood and her sudden rise to fame. Anastasiia was quick to shut down all the hype, however, dismissing the numbers and the nominations and instead focusing on how she was grateful to have a platform where she could shed light on the events happening in her home country and influence others to support Ukraine.

Mr Wismer, who actually taught Anastasiia this exact course when she was at Brentwood, still fondly remembers her classroom presence: “Ana was a wonderful student – she had an insatiable inquisitiveness, a great sense of humour, and a penchant for hard work. What I loved most about her was she didn’t shy away from sharing her thoughts about things, even if they went against the norms of her peers or what I thought as a teacher.”

Caiden T, Whittall ‘22 was grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to Anastasiia: “We were really lucky to be able to talk to her. It is crazy to think that she was in our shoes just a few years ago.”

Through our conversation, where students were allowed to ask Anastasiia any questions they had, the class was able to learn more about the history of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and clear up any misconceptions they had about a complex issue. Anastasiia was kind and open throughout, more than willing to answer questions about an issue that is extremely personal to her.

We are so grateful that Anastasiia took the time out of her extremely busy life to speak with us for about an hour. She is a great example of what Old Brentonians are capable of and is an inspiration to all of us.

Will P, Whittall ‘22

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