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Service Abroad - Vision, Mission, History

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 9 years, 12 months ago

Service Partner Guide

Bonner Foundation: Vision, Mission, & History



What is the Bonner Foundation?

     Started by Corella and Bertram F. Bonner (pictured below), the original purpose of the Foundation was to help those who, like Mr. and Mrs. Bonner, came from underprivileged backgrounds.  The Foundation aimed to provide access to education. In 1989, the Foundation began working with colleges and universities, seeking a way both to provide scholarships to students who could not otherwise afford to attend college and to catalyze students and institutions of higher education to participate in community service in their own communities. What started with a small number of endowments at schools along the Appalachian Trail has now grown to a national movement of roughly 3,000 students at over 80 schools working to improve their communities through service, service learning, and gain an understanding of what it truly means to be an engaged citizen.
      The vision of the Bonner Program is to partner with campuses in order to catalyze campus-wide engagement in community service, build a culture and infrastructure for sustained campus-community partnerships, and to promote students' leadership and development through civic engagement.  Our work is founded around six Common Commitments, including civic engagement, community building, diversity, international perspective, spiritual exploration, and social justice. Our vision is to see the service-based scholarship model advanced throughout higher education, so that service is recognized as a truly important component of education.

Values & Beliefs

The Bonner Foundation...
  •  is committed to working with all people and institutions regardless of age, race, belief, or nationality.
  •  believes that colleges and congregations have vital societal roles to play by nurturing and mobilizing thoughtful, caring, and diverse leadership dedicated to community service
  •  recognizes that often the best way to help someone is to give them the opportunity to help themselves, and that the people best able to address the problem are the people whom it most directly affects
  •  recognizes that effective community service programs involve all stakeholders in their leadership
  •  recognizes that long-lasting partnerships are based on mutual respect and common commitments
  •  supports innovative programs which have the potential to serve as models for other congregations and higher education institutions


Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve


 Next Page: Program Overview


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