While it is important to teach students about skills such as business, it is all the more important for those students to also have practical experience in those areas. One way this can be accomplished is by giving students a direct connection to local businesses and business owners. Not only does forming this connection give students real-world experience, it also strengthens the community around them as the businesses and students benefit from each other. This has been the goal of local nonprofit Boomerang Plus, an organization that is dedicated to seeing these connections form and thrive for years to come.

Around 10 years ago, Boomerang Plus founder David Hamelburg was asked by Windsor High School teacher Barney Kaufman to speak to students at Vineyard Academy about business. This invitation would lead David to take on a more active role with Vineyard Academy, joining the Advisory Committee as a member. As he continued his work with the students, David realized that there was a need for students in Windsor, Sonoma County, and the entire United States to have relevant, real-world work experience. As someone whose father and grandfathers were all businessmen, and as someone with a long background in business himself, David chose to use his entrepreneurial knowledge to help students.

In 2013, David founded the nonprofit Boomerang Plus in order to see his vision become a reality. The main goal of Boomerang Plus is to connect students with local businesses in order to build a stronger community. To accomplish this, Boomerang Plus works with both schools and businesses in order to teach students the essential skills they will need to do well in both the classroom and the real world. Several ways that this is accomplished are through programs such as internships, Student Shark Tank, and a new local effort, The Community Shops.

The main driving force behind every volunteer working with Boomerang Plus is the ability to see the students of the community thrive in their learning. David and his fellow volunteers know how important it is to see students succeed, as they are the future of the community. “Our volunteers really enjoy giving back and seeing the smiles on the students’ faces during events (e.g. mock interviews, guest speaking, Student Shark Tank),” David says.

In addition to his role with Boomerang Plus, David has also volunteered his time as a speaker on the subject of business. In one memorable event, David was asked to be the keynote speaker at an event, only to realize after that he needed to step up his game. Rather than giving a dry, standard speech about business, David created the character of “Dave,” a character that teaches soft skills by being a visual representation of what not to do in the work environment.

Recently, David and Boomerang Plus have also worked with a number of local schools, businesses, and nonprofits to create The Community Shops, unique retail experience that allows students to earn valuable practical job skills. You can read more about The Community Shops on the next page.

Ultimately, the goal of Boomerang Plus has always been to help students succeed in and out of the classroom. David hopes to continue helping students and businesses connect for years to come, and invites everyone to visit The Community Shops as well. To the readers of The Windsor Connection, David says: “If you are a business owner looking to advertise and promote your business, or a student looking for a great internship, please contact Boomerang Plus.


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The Windsor Connection features local Windsor families, businesses, news, events, sports, and much more right here in our area. Windsor residents love us because we proudly connect them with local small businesses. Local small businesses love us because we provide them a highly effective advertising platform.
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