My name is David Vandenberg and I am a Political Science Student at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. I was born in Oakville, ON and raised in Burlington, ON which is where I call home. I love to play baseball (played BOMBA for 9 years) and golf, mountain bike, hike, fish and visit my cottage up in Muskoka.
How did I first get involved in my community?
Community involvement started for me when I joined Canada’s largest and oldest marching band: The Burlington Teen Tour Band. I was honoured to travel the world and represent Canada at the Pearl Harbour 70th Anniversary, Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day Parade and The Netherlands for the 75th anniversary of the Canada Holland Liberation. I was fortunate to be elected as Section Leader of the Saxophone section and as Treasurer of the Executive.
Winning Pythons' Pit
My involvement with Pythons’ Pit began when I saw this competition in high school to win some money if you had a cool idea, and I knew I had to jump on it. I asked a few friends and we finalized an application, then we waited. We made it to the next round and ultimately the finals, and landed the first place prize! The continuity of involvement is a huge piece for me. I continued to work with the program because I knew how much it helped me in high school to receive real mentorship, public speaking opportunities, collaboration skills as a team, and networking skills.
This experience helped streamline into my new position where I get to speak to students and teachers in the HDSB and HCDSB all of the amazing benefits for the students and to help foster innovation. I learn every day from this program, and I hope the students do as well because the real-life experiences you get and the network you create is invaluable towards your future.
November 2015 came along, and I needed to apply to universities! This is a stressful time for students, but I knew I just had to keep my marks up. I applied to Laurier for Business Administration, McMaster for Commerce and Carleton for Commerce as well. When I heard back I got into 2/3 programs and an alternate offer from Laurier for Economics which I took. I loved the atmosphere of the school and had friends going too.
As the year went on I participated in many clubs and events and even won a case competition called the Inter-University Case Conference where we competed against other schools and even MBA students. But it started to settle in with me that I wanted to continue my community and business network at home. I transferred programs into Political Science at McMaster University and it was the best decision I have ever made! Life makes changes, and when one door closes, three more open. Now I am in third year at McMaster University!
Now that I was living at home I wanted to get involved with some volunteering opportunities outside of school. I approached the CIBC Run For The Cure Committee in Burlington/Hamilton/Oakville and joined the team. This was an event I always walked in with my family growing up and I wanted to give back.
October 2016, I saw an ad in the newspaper which stated that the food banks in Burlington were extremely low and wanted to fill up their shelves. In 13 days I executed the Burlington Food Bank’s largest single food drive in their history raising 7500 lbs of food. After this I was approached by the Compassion Society of Halton to be on their Board of Directors and to this day am the Chair of the Strategic Partnerships Subcommittee. Everyone has time to give back and I think it’s very important to do so, to create a thriving and helping community.