There is a saying that speaks of living up to your family name. History has shown that people whose last names model trades were usually masters in their respective field. If language history derivatives are correct, then Brooke Pompeo is the archetype of her last name.
Pompeo is said to have meant “person in charge,” from the Greek language, and it is obvious that Brooke is the one to look to when tasks need to be completed. Her leadership ability is rivaled only by her work ethic and desire for perfection.
“Brooke is just a firecracker of inspiration,” fellow senior media, culture and technology major Steve Earp says. “She expects the best of herself and everyone around her. Trust me; you want her on your team at work and on the field.”
On the softball field, Pompeo has excelled her entire life. Her freshman season, Brooke received an Honorable Mention for the All-Commonwealth Conference team. Brooke, who loves a challenge, outdid herself by being named First Team All-Conference as a sophomore. Her junior year also provided more individual success as she was named Second Team All-Conference.
Pompeo’s defense is excellent, evident by her near-perfect fielding percentage of .902 during her Messiah career. Brooke has also batted over three hundred in her career. Recently, she scored her 100th career run as well.
“Brooke was really a great hitter before she got here,” Head Softball Coach Amy Weaver says. “She only got better because she pushed herself to always be better. Some players really need the competition or a team to push them, so they don’t just get through the motions. That’s not Brooke. Brooke does the pushing. She’s self-motivated.”
This self-motivation was an asset to Brooke’s career off the field. She began to see the advantages of having a strong work ethic while participating in Messiah’s joint program through Temple University, which no longer exists.
“Growing up I really thought I wanted to be a broadcaster, but when I went to Temple that all changed,” Pompeo says. “I really fell in love with video. I want to do video editing for a missions group or charity.”
“One of the things I think makes video so great is that there is more opportunity to break molds and go outside the norm,” Pompeo continues. “There’s just so much that can be done with video that cannot be done with any other medium.”
Brooke is a valuable asset to every other project she works on, not just because of her skill, but also because of her calm demeanor. Fellow students say they even feel more comfortable when Brooke is participating in production.
“Whenever we do projects for [the Television Production class] I always feel like the project is going to be more successful if Brooke is in the control room,” first-year journalism major Valerie Bell says. “She’s so confident; she’s really calm under pressure.”
Pompeo’s calm nature and confidence are most likely a repercussion of her work ethic, which Brooke attributes to her father.
“When I was growing up, and I hated this growing up, but my dad would always talk about this idea of wasted opportunities,” Pompeo says. “He’d say that whenever I was trying to make a decision. It really helped me to prioritize; that’s what always drove me to push that little bit further. Now, I’m so thankful that he reminded me of that.”
Brooke’s father, Kevin, is an electrician at a chemical plant. His intense career makes time difficult to find, but Brooke’s father always had time to help her practice, and he attended her games.
“Dad would work all day long, and when he would come home, I would pester him to hit me ground balls,” Pompeo says. “He always did. Always. When I had tournaments, dad would be at every game. Sometimes he would work nights to ensure that he would be able to make them.”
When Mr. Pompeo attended a game, he would always be in the same location: on the same side as Brooke’s team, down past the fence, standing. It’s part of a long-running superstition.
“Oh, I’m very superstitious. So is my dad. I remember this one game we had in Rochester [New York], and where dad would usually stand was this big covered screen blocking his view. Dad did not move; he watched the entire game through a screen covering,” says Pompeo.
Superstitions are what Brooke claims help her feel more comfortable when playing.
“Playing well is all about being comfortable, and being in the right mindset,” Pompeo says. “So, when I play well in a game, I will keep repeating those same rituals over and over. It also helps that I have my family on the field with me.”
Most immediate in Brooke’s future is the culmination of her softball career, which she will celebrate with her family on the field and off.
“I know that school is ending, and that’s scary,” Pompeo says. “I don’t want softball to end; I love my team, and I love the competition. As this season has started to wind down, I just keep picturing myself running to my dad, and hugging him as both of us are crying at what we accomplished together.”
Ultimately, Brooke reflects on some advice that shapes each day she faces.
“Appreciate the little things like laughing,” Pompeo advises. “I try to really take that into account. You can only do the best you can to be the best you can be.”