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Bonner Program

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 12 years, 9 months ago


Since the Bonner Scholars Program was piloted at Berea College in 1990-91, the Foundation has worked with colleges and universities to support students to attend college and to be active and involved in community service while in school. In the first few years, an initial group of schools were identified to participate in this service-based scholarship program. The Bonner Scholars Program now operates on 24 campuses and supports 1,500 students annually to be actively involved in community service and social justice issues. Each school supports a director and a coordinator who oversee the general operations of the Bonner Program and has between 30 and 100 Bonner Scholars.


In 1997, the effort to replicate the Bonner Program began with six campuses that worked in partnership with campuses with the Bonner Scholars Program.  There are now more than 60 campuses operating Bonner Leader Programs, bringing the total number of campuses in the Bonner Network to more than 80.




Goals of the Bonner Program


The Bonner Program is designed to transform not only the students who are directly supported by the program, but also the campus and community in which they serve and learn. The goals of the program are identified in four areas: students, community, and campus, and higher education.

For the Student

  • Provide access to a college education to students with high financial need.
  • Afford these students an opportunity to use their abilities, talents, and leadership to serve others while in college.
  • Create a supportive community of students on campus whose common focus on community service gives them a sense of purpose and meaning

For the Community

  • Channel the energies and talents of college students, faculty, and staff to help address the challenges of and opportunities within local communities.
  • Break down the socio-economic barriers within communities, leading to greater cooperation and collaboration.

For the College

  • Help recruit and retain a diverse group of students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.
  • Challenge and support the college community in its effort to create a culture of service, where the school's mission of service is translated in such a way that every member of the student body, faculty, and staff is encouraged to serve.
  • Support a core group of student leaders eager to build and strengthen the organizations on campus that promote a culture of service.

For Higher Education

  • Serve as a successful model to other colleges and universities that are interested in starting their own community service scholarship program.
  • Serve as a powerful consortium of diverse institutions that share a common commitment to service.
  • Provide leadership to a nation searching for ways to value and include young people in meaningful acts of citizenship 


Here is a one-page double-sided flier about the Bonner Program.  You may download it and copy it for various audiences.



More Information


For students


For campus administrators


For organizations


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