CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin Colton Van Der Minne of Nanaimo District Secondary School rows with the Nanaimo Rowing Club in between other extra-curricular pursuits. He will study at UBC in the fall.

BEST & BRIGHTEST: Student finds balance between local and global thinking

Colton Van Der Minne of NDSS already learning at next level

Colton Van Der Minne is driven to make a difference, but community and humanitarian work wasn’t always on his radar.

Van Der Minne, a French Immersion and Aboriginal student at Nanaimo District Secondary School, volunteers to help people locally and across the globe, but the fire was really lit only three years ago when he attended We Day in Vancouver.

“They show you lots of examples of youths who are making a difference at all sorts of different ages and some of the speakers are … 10 years old,” he said. “It makes you think about the fact that making a difference isn’t just a thing for adults, and really, it can’t be just a thing for adults. A movement like that has to come from all age groups.”

Van Der Minne, 17, was elected to the head of the high school’s global committee a year later, where he’s helped to raise money for global efforts, like supplying rural Chinese communities with clean water and stocking a school infirmary in Uganda. He and his committee have also helped to spread smiles by building care packages for people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo. The focus is a 50-50 mix between working locally and globally, he said.

“There’s needs outside of just our local community,” he said. “At the same time, it’s really important to not get caught up in all those needs outside the community and forget about the community you’re in.”

If he’s not making the grade in school or fundraising to help the global efforts, Van Der Minne can be found on the water or cracking open books at Vancouver Island University.

He rows with Nanaimo Rowing Club, most recently making the semifinals at the Canadian High School National Championships in Ontario, and volunteers in the summer with Learn to Row. Van Der Minne is also a three-time winner of the Nuu-chah-nulth Academic Scholarship, has volunteered as a tutor, and took two calculus courses at VIU while he finished high school.

“I’m always wanting to get involved in more stuff, and so the consequence is I don’t have much free time – but it’s doable if it’s stuff that I’m really passionate about,” he said.

Van Der Minne will attend UBC next year to work toward a career as a doctor.

“I want a challenge,” he said. “It’s also a job that lets me help people.”

For more Best & Brightest articles, visit this link.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

best and brightest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDN budget includes unexpected $1.5 million for sewer pipe replacement

Pipe corrosion at Departure Bay discovered in December

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo loses longtime soccer supporter

Leo Beier had an impact on hundreds of athletes during a decades-long devotion to soccer

‘Stretched’ art show returns to Gabriola Island

Artists challenged to create works on six-by-36-inch long canvases

Snuneymuxw flag once again flying atop Nanaimo City Hall

Ceremony held Thursday to return flag after it was taken down in 2017

Snuneymuxw flag once again flying atop Nanaimo City Hall

Ceremony held Thursday to return flag after it was taken down in 2017

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Malware infiltration slows production at Island pulp mills

Infestation affecting Crofton, Alberni, Powell River Paper Excellence operations

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read