By Cam Galindo
Every so often, students at McMaster University are offered the opportunity to experience something new and go beyond the books. Last month, I did just that. Through my Experiential Education (EE) office in the Faculty of Social Sciences, I was made aware of an event that was being hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce called Ambitious City 2015, Is Hamilton Canada’s Brooklyn? The cost of attending the event was covered by an experiential grant, called the Hamilton Matters Fund, offered through the EE office. I’ve always been one to experience as much as possible so I accepted the offer and attended the event with a friend.
The event was more of a spirited panel conversation between experts on the movement fuelling Hamilton’s fresh identity and new economy. The discussion ended up being moderated by none other than Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s the Agenda, and someone whom I look up to as a Political Science student. Also in attendance was the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Scissura, and a few local notables.
The overall experience connected with the Political Science degree that I am finishing next year as the event explored the political, social, historical, economic, and cultural connections between Hamilton and Brooklyn that will allow the city to continue to grow and improve. After having participated, I feel inspired to use the knowledge I am learning at McMaster University to help grow local communities and improve the lives of people living in those communities.
Students are often times too preoccupied with school, work and other commitments to take advantage of these opportunities. But believe me, it’s important to make the effort and to have experiences such as this because it’s one thing to graduate with a degree, but it’s another thing to graduate with a degree and the experience to back it up.
*Photos taken from Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Facebook page