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Cornerstone Activities

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 12 years, 1 month ago

The Building Blocks of Bonner

First Year Trip |  Second Year Exchange | Junior Leadership | Senior Capstone

Four activities which guide the development and depth of service


First Year Trip

Developing identity and unity through an intensive service experience.

  • This trip is part of the exploration phase in the student development model.
  • It's generally a 4-7 day trip in a geographic region outside of their campus community that features:
    • program and service activities
    • educational preparation and reflection before, during, and after the trip
    • deeper partnerships with community organizations, involving presentations and learning
  • Examples
    • Maryville College in Tennessee has engaged first-year students in a trip around immigration issues at the U.S./Mexico Border.  Students were so interested in their service and what they learned that they proposed a follow-up Second Year Exchange in which they got involved in public education at the state level around immigration issues.  See Maryville's Campus Profile to be in touch with them.
    • In past years, Guilford College has done a First Year Trip to the Crow Reservation in Montana, engaging students in a service immersion addressing the issues of a Native American Indian population.  This trip was also an "Avanti," in which other students on campus could also participate in inspiring service trips.  See Guilford's Campus Profile to be in touch.
    • Each year, Emory & Henry's Bonner Scholars do a First Year Trip to New York City, in which they explore poverty in an urban context and compare it to poverty in rural context back in Virginia.  This trip has been very successful in provoking deeper reflection.  See E&H's Campus Profile to be in touch. 
  • Check out this bonner.org website link for more details on how to plan a First-Year Trip and other service trips.


Second Year Exchange

Breaking out of comfort zones and engaging in service with Bonners from across the country.

  • This is part of the experience phase in the student development model.
  • The Second Year Exchange takes Bonners on a day trip or short service trip with Bonners from another school to exchange ideas and build the sense of the national movement.  It often includes:
    • program and service activities
    • educational preparation and reflection, such as planning by the sophomore class themselves
    • training or attending a conference
    • tapping into ongoing partnerships with community organizations who host the Bonners or provide service opportunities
    • sharing experiences and ideas with other Bonners
    • creating cross-program connections
  • Examples
    • As mentioned above, Maryville College did a Second Year Exchange that built on the First Year Trip, addressing immigration issues.  They partnered with Carson-Newman College and Tusculum College to be involved in a public education trip, addressing policy issues affecting immigration in the state of Tennessee.  This is a great example of how the trips can build on each other.  
    • For the past few years, Earlham College and DePauw University have been partnering for the Second Year Exchange. They've done some interesting things to explore diversity and multiculturalism, for example meeting in the common ground of Indianapolis.  The Second Year Exchange doesn't only have to be about service. 
    • Attending the Summer Leadership Institute, specifically the All Bonner Service Event, can also be a school's Second Year Exchange.  There, you can meet and do service with students from 20 or more schools.  


Junior Leadership

Expanding on service experiences by leading and engaging others to serve.

  • This is part of the example phase in the student development model.
  • By the third/junior year, students usually take leadership positions in a variety of ways, including as:
    • Bonner Congress Representatives
    • Project/site coordinators, or initiating changes at the sites
    • Issues-based team leaders
    • First-year orientation leaders
    • Helping to plan the first-year trip or sophomore exchange
    • or, creating their own opportunity to lead and engage others!
  • Examples
    • Students at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) are involved in planning and leading all first-year students to complete a service day, through a strategy called Civic Engaged Learning Days.  They did 30+ days in 2007-2008!  
    • Students at Oberlin College have participated in special training geared at activism and leadership, called ALLIES (Activism Learning for Leadership).  This year Congress Reps worked to create new committees for students in Bonner.
    • Students at Berry College talk about how active upper-class students are with the rest of campus life, including through student government, leading large projects, and more.  


Senior Capstone

Integrating academic and service experiences to envision the future.

  • This is part of the excellence phase in the student development model.
  • The Senior Presentation of Learning is a culminating experience in which the senior takes a deeper look at their Bonner journey to share:
    • their deeper reflections and learning
    • the story of their own development
    • where they see themselves going next
  • Through Presentations of Learning, seniors provide inspirational stories that describe their own journey through Bonner, often offered at celebrations attended by faculty, family, community partners,  and other Bonners.
  • On the service level, students may want to pursue a more formalized Capstone Project, representing a significant level of responsibility in their service work, often tied to an honors thesis or academic project.  Students involved in a Civic Engagement Minor/Certificate may have a course for the Capstone as well.  
  • Examples:
    • Students at Morehouse College have put together sophisticated power-point presentations to share at a larger meeting with community partners and others from Atlanta.  Contact them if you want an example.
  • Check out this bonner.org website link for more details on planning the Capstone or Senior Presentation of Learning.  Many schools also use this as a chance for seniors to be involved in vocational discernment or career planning.


**Note that the examples will feature text descriptions, video examples, photo slideshows, and links to relevant blogs or Facebook groups.**


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