Bonner Leaders Program - Prospective Students

About the Program

The Bonner Program is made up of a unique cohort of driven students committed to civic service and community engagement. Through the Bonner Program leadership curriculum, and the optional  Civic Engagement Minor, students develop and hone a range of skills that are applicable to be strong leaders in their field. From Nursing to Computer Science, Education to Theatre Performance, students with varying fields of study are able to engage with new perspectives and initiatives in meaningful ways that make a lasting impact.

Grounded in civic engagement, the Bonner Program provides students with opportunities to get involved as college students in various initiatives. Participants commit to civic engagement work, skill development, and reflection-based seminars while receiving financial support for their efforts. In addition, the program helps to create a collaborative campus culture through its unique, four-year cohort model.

Additional Information

Bonner Leaders are expected to:

  • Make community engagement and leadership development one of your highest priorities
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Perform up to 150 hours of civic engagement work through the academic year by serving an average of 8-10 hours a week in community-based internship placements
  • Engage in a 2 hour academic, reflective, and skill development-based seminar every week, as well as all other scheduled events, individual meetings, and advising sessions
  • Option to complete the Civic Engagement minor of study as a means to develop the theory behind civic practice
  • Participate in Bonner trips, events, and projects including a first-year service trip, sophomore exchange, junior leadership, and senior capstone thesis
  • Be college work-study eligible
    • Bonner positions are limited to students who qualify for Federal College Work-Study. In order to be considered for College Work-Study, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually. College Work-Study is need-based and is not guaranteed. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.
  • The Bonner Program fosters relationship development and inspires family values by creating a foundation of trust and empathy
  • Bonners have the opportunity to rely on one another, seek advice, and offer mentorship across all four of up to 12 member cohorts
  • All Bonners participate in events, discussions, and readings focused on the following seven core commitments:
    • Community Building — Establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and common interests on and off campus
    • Social Justice — Advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equity while addressing systemic, social, and environmental issues
    • International Perspective — Develop an international understanding that enables us to participate successfully in a global society
    • Spiritual Exploration — Explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual practices of others
    • Diversity — Respect and embrace the many dimensions of diversity in our private and public lives
    • Civic Engagement — Participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct service
    • Wellness — Dedicate time and energy to personal well-being, reflection, and internal growth as a strategy to be one’s best self
  • Role as leaders and active members in the campus community
  • Priority registration for coursework
  • Early move-in each semester
  • Network with local agencies and community based organizations for internships and job placement opportunities
  • Attend national conferences with the Bonner network, and connect with students from over 65 other colleges and universities nationwide
  • Earn up to 10 hours/ week of pay for service at community placements

Application Information & Timeline

Apply for the Bonner Program here!

The Bonner Leaders Program application process consists of three components: verify your eligibility for College Work-Study (check your financial aid papers or reach out to the Financial Aid Office to confirm eligibility), submit your application to Dr. Taviare Hawkins (your response to the following short answer questions), and request an interview; with an optional Q&A session with current Bonner Leaders.

The short answer portion of the application will ask you to answer any three of the following questions in 300 words.

  1. Recount an experience you had through service in the community that made you want to learn more about something. What did you want to learn and how did you go about it?
  2. The Bonner Program is committed to the idea that students can change their world through service. What single social or public policy issue do you think is the most urgent crisis in your community and/or in today’s society at large and why?
  3. As we enter into partnerships with community agencies to create a more just world, our identities play an important role in informing our work. Describe how you identify and how your understanding of your identities informs your approach to community engagement (race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, first-generation and/or immigrant status are all examples of identities).
  4. Can service ever be selfless? Why or why not?
  5. How do service and civic engagement connect with your academic interests, values, and long-term goals?

Fall Application Timeline:

  • March 22, 2024 – The interview period begins
  • March 29, 2024 – Priority application deadline
  • April 3, 2024 – Priority application results announced
  • April 2024 – Admitted Students’ Day
  • Deadline Extended through August 15, 2024 – For Fall Semester
The Bonner Leaders Program application is open for applications.

Questions or concerns about applying? Contact Taviare Hawkins, Associate Provost for Research, Development and Civic Engagement.