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Mauro Cantatore

Middlesex County College Bonner Leader




Mauro Cantatore is a Bonner Leader in his second year at Middlesex County College. An Education and Spanish double major, Mauro aspires to become a Spanish teacher and ultimately a school principal. As a Bonner, Mauro serves with two sites in the area: Elijah's Promise, a soup kitchen in New Brunswick, and the McGinnis Middle School through their M.O.B (Minding Our Business) program, where Bonners mentor students about entrepreneurship. Mauro says, "being a Bonner has changed my life, enabled me to meet some lifelong friends; if it wasn't for Bonner I'm not sure where I would be". As a Bonner Congress Representative and member of the national Bonner Advisory Board, Mauro has taken his passion from Middlesex to the national network and enjoys getting a sense of what other schools are doing in the country. When he's not serving the community, Mauro is known to be the handyman and cook in his Bonner Program — always willing to give a helping hand, which is grounded in his belief in karma. Mauro looks forward to the summer internship and "how [he] can make his mark on the world".


Other fun facts: 

  • What do you do for fun? I sit back and relax or go out until late hours of the night with friends even if its just simply walking around town.
  • Career goals and dreams:  I Wish to be a High School Teacher, teaching Spanish until I become principal.
  • Favorite Common Commitment: Diversity
  • Favorite Food: Popcorn
  • One thing you want to do this summer: I want to take a trip to another country 
  • What I'm working on this summer: This summer I will be working on Bonner Videos 


Michelle Campbell

Siena College Bonner Leader

Michelle Campbell is a rising Junior English major at Siena College. Entering the program her freshmen year, she has served at two different organizations in the Albany area. Starting out as the English for Speakers of Other Languages Intern at the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Michelle helped coordinate, schedule, and secure locations for various ESOL classes. Additionally, she helped recruit and pair tutors with clients and created the Capitol Region ESOL Round Table, a group that unified ESOL services in Albany. In her second semester of sophomore year, Michelle established a placement within the college’s Damietta Cross Cultural Center. Creating single-day service events that correlated with bi-weekly themes, Michelle was able to share the experiences and cultures of diverse groups with Siena students. Next year, when Michelle takes on her new role as Junior Intern, the relationship she built with the DCCC will be continued with new Bonners. Michelle’s excited to start living the Bonner life in Princeton this summer with her fellow interns. She especially looks forward to researching public policy, Spice World movie fests, hanging with her Bonner Brother, and following Bobby’s instructions to “get cultured.” On her weekends, Michelle will be traveling down the shore with friends and eating frozen yogurt on Nassau Street.


Other fun facts: 

  • What do you do for fun? Listening to music of the indie rock persuasion, watching obscure movies, reading & blogging poetry, going to parks, and frequenting cute cafes without ever ordering anything.
  • Career goals and dreams:  Trying to leave this section blank. Still trying to figure out how to merge my love for writing with the government and non-profit world. Currently looking into Public Administration as a potential future career path.
  • Favorite Common Commitment: DIVERSITY. Add some flavor.
  • Favorite Food: Frozen yogurt with peanuts & sprinkles, please.
  • One thing you want to do this summer: I’ve been dying to go to an aquarium! But I look forward to spending July 4th with my best friend and her family in the Poconos
  • What I'm working on this summer: Public Policy for the Foundation, my foreign language skills and planning the First Year Exchange trip for Siena freshmen in August.


Charles Anthony Cartagena-Ortiz

Rider University Bonner Scholar

Charles Anthony Cartagena-Ortiz is a Senior at Rider University. A two-year Resident Advisor, and Bonner Scholar, Charles is a triple Major studying Political Science, Economics, and Global Studies, with a Baccalaureate Honors Specialization and Philosophy Minor.  Charles was motivated  to take on his Global Studies Major after his experiences on Rider’s 2010 Model United Nations Team. Originally intending to pursue a career as a corporate Lawyer, Charles’ experience with the Bonner Program reshaped his focus towards social justice and advocacy. He has been guided through this process largely by his Bonner Director, Ms. Annie Pasqua, who has been a continued source of guidance and emotional healing. Charles will be spending the Fall 2011 semester in Ghana, Africa to work for an NGO, and will greatly miss his fellow Bonner Interns, his Bonner Director, and most of all his Bonner Sister Michelle Campbell. In his spare time Charles enjoys serene moments of quiet contemplation, learning how to bake exotic cupcakes, and laughing with loved-ones. 


Other fun facts: 

  • What do you do for fun? Lounge at my leisure
  • Career goals and dreams: Running things at Oxfam America after graduating from a T-11 Law School
  • Favorite Food: Cheese-In all its wonderful incarnations
  • One thing you want to do this summer:  Get As in all four of my summer classes 
  • What I'm working on this summer:  Public Policy Research




Mario Céspedes

Cornell University

A rising junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University, Mario Céspedes is a newcomer to the Bonner Foundation. At ILR, Mario studies the laws, economics, and politics that govern workers’ rights in the United States and abroad. His interest in protecting the rights of the working class also feeds his passion for promoting human rights and social justice.  With his internship with the Bonner Foundation he looks to learn extensively about immigration and refugee policies, gain experience in non-profit work, and collaborate with passionate individuals interested in social justice. Mario also dedicates much of his time making and performing music with his guitar, bass, and voice. In his spare time, Mario loves playing soccer, running, and doing yoga.


Other fun facts:

  • What do you do for fun? I spend most of my time playing and making music on my guitar, bass, and voice. I love running and playing soccer. I’ve recently gotten into yoga and it's the best! 
  • Career goals and dreams: To be in a position where I can break down barriers to success for underprivileged people meanwhile still having the time to perform and create music. 
  • Favorite Common Commitment: Civic Engagement because I believe that being an active part of society, for example holding elected office where one is held accountable, fosters a less self-centered personality. When one participates in civic engagement, one is worried about the well-being of others, not just oneself.
  • Favorite Food: Haribo Gold Gummi Bears 
  • One thing you want to do this summer:  Go skydiving 
  • What I'm working on this summer: This summer I will be working with a team under Bobby Hackett’s supervision. Our team will be responsible for accelerating the Policy Options initiative



Ta'Lisa-LaShawn Hilton

Rider University

Bonner Scholar



Ta'Lisa-LaShawn Hilton (Tyia) is a Bonner Leader from Burlington County College who will be returning to Rider University this fall. She is a Pre-Med and Psychology major, and hopes to go to medical school to be an osteopathic psychiatrist. She's very interested in the development of the mind, particularly in regard to youth, believing that youth need guidance and mentors to help them feel good about themselves. She's also very interested in human rights, particularly for children and immigrants. She enjoys talking and having fun with her fellow Bonners and going on roller coasters, and watching movies. 


Other fun facts:

  • What do you do for fun? Hanging with my friends, shopping, going on road trips and hanging out the locals, dancing, and being me!!
  • Career goals and dreams: I plan to be an osteopathic psychiatrist and I dream of living overseas again working with underprivileged youth  
  • Favorite Common Commitment: International Perspective
  • Favorite Food: Chic-Fil-A (all day, any day!!)
  • One thing you want to do this summer: Go to Canada with my fellow interns  
  • What I'm working on this summer: Organizing and expanding the Bonner Alumni Network and developing structures for International Partnerships 



Da Huo

DePauw University

Bonner Scholar


Da Huo was born in Nanjing, China — an old city with 2000 years of history. While in junior high school, he joined the Nanjing Charity Foundation, the biggest local foundation in the area, where he began his "volunteer career". He is currently a Bonner Scholar at DePauw University, Indiana, where he is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Da has served the local Asbury Towers Retirement Community for the past two years. Da is also interested in science research, as he did a kinesiology research for DePauw in the summer of 2010. He considers himself open-minded, as he lives a life full of Chinese and American influence — loving both Ne-yo (hip-hop artist) and Eason Chan (a Hong Kong singer); enjoying both dumplings and American cheeseburgers; and watching American movies but also Chinese crosstalk (a Chinese talk show). He looks forward to putting his computer skills to use by making videos for the Bonner Network through his internship.


Other fun facts:

  • What do you do for fun?: play basketball, listen to music, play PC games like Assassin's Creed and WarCraft III DOTA(pro) LOL
  • Career goals and dreams: Be a computer programmer in Video game company ! Design a video game by myself !
  • Favorite Common Commitment: International Perspectives and diversity. Hope more international students join BONNER!
  • Favorite Food: A Lot...Asian food (China, Japan, Korea), Triple burger of Burger King~Chipotle Burrito~Buffalo Wild WINGS
  • One thing you want to do this summer: Go NYC, Boston~I hope I can go Canada too~ LOL
  • What I'm working on this summer: Bonner Videos~ I am a pro LOL



Imani Lynelle Lewis 

Emory University

Bonner Leader

Imani Lewis is a rising junior at Emory University and a Bonner Alumna from Oxford College of Emory University. In her time as a Bonner Leader, Imani’s primary placement sites included Newton County Reads and the Dekalb Technical College English as a Second Language and Adult Education programs. Imani is interested in issues of homelessness and hunger, education reform, and poverty reduction. She is an African American Studies major and Theatre Studies minor on a Pre-Law track and hopes to one day work for the Southern Poverty Law Center promoting acceptance and preventing hate or work as legal counsel for a non-profit organization. Imani is looking forward to exploring the Princeton area, making warm and fuzzy memories with her Bonner Foundation intern/staff family, and having her own living space. In her spare time Imani loves to shop, jam to 90s music, attend plays and concerts, go out to eat, and travel to new and exciting places!


Other fun facts:

• What do you do for fun? I love to swim, read, travel, shop, go to plays and musicals, visit museums, go out to eat, draw, paint, and hang out with friends!

• Career goals and dreams: I want to work for the Southern Poverty Law Center as a lawyer or serve as legal counsel for a non-profit organization!

• Favorite Common Commitment: My favorite Common Commitment is Spiritual Exploration. I’m a very spirtitual person. I love exploring my own religious beliefs and spirituality and learning about world religions. 

• Favorite Food: It constantly changes but I’ve gotten into salads this summer. The fruitier the better. 

• One thing you want to do this summer:  I'm hoping to travel as much as possible. Outside of New York City I haven't seen that much of the Northeast. Visiting Niagara Falls would be epic.

• What I'm working on this summer: I am working with Wiki restructuring, social media and alumni networking efforts. I can't wait to get started on my assignments.




Elizabeth Vázquez

Rutgers University

Bonner Leader


Elizabeth Vázquez is a graduate of Middlesex County College, where she served in their Bonner Program.  Currently, she is a rising junior at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations, majoring in Labor Studies.  Her interest in this field began when she served at EMPOWER, a college access program for immigrant youth.  As a result, she hopes to study immigration law after graduating from Rutgers.  She looks forward to increasing her knowledge of policy research during her time as a Bonner summer intern. Outside of school, Liz enjoys cooking and discovering new Indie rock bands. 


Other fun facts:

  • What do you do for fun? cook and eat
  • Career goals and dreams: Become an Immigration Lawyer
  • Favorite Common Commitment: Spiritual Exploration
  • Favorite Food: trick question... FOOD!
  • One thing you want to do this summer: Watch Harry Potter at midnight
  • What I'm working on this summer: Policy Research




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