Bonner Leaders Program

Developed by the Bonner Foundation, a national philanthropic organization based in Princeton, New Jersey, the Bonner Leaders Program works 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. 

 

At the core of the Bonner Leaders Program is the belief that colleges play a vital societal role in nurturing and mobilizing thoughtful, caring, and diverse leaders dedicated to community service.The Rollins College Bonner Leaders Program is a cohort-based community service program that pairs undergraduate students in our Liberal Arts Program with local nonprofit organizations in an intensive and sustained manner. The program achieves this by:
  • Providing access to a college education for students who have a proven desire to serve
  • Affording students the opportunity to engage their talents and leadership in strengthening communities
  • Channeling the energies of students, faculty, and staff to make significant contributions to the local community
  • Working to improve people’s lives, enhance the environment, and build stronger communities
  • Helping the College further a culture of service so that more students are involved in these efforts every day

Bonner Leaders Overview

About

A four-year, cohort-based community service opportunity, the Rollins College Bonner Leaders Program provides scholarships to students who are passionate about working directly with local non-profit organizations throughout the academic year. Designed for full-time undergraduate students in the Rollins Liberal Arts program, the Bonner Leaders Program empowers recipients to address some of the greatest challenges of our time through community-based learning and service.

Bonner Leaders receive a scholarship to help defray the cost of tuition and to encourage their continued efforts to positively impact their communities.

  • 65% of Bonner graduates go on to work in non-profit or public sector careers;
  • Nearly 100% continue to engage in meaningful community service after graduation.

"Probably the biggest indicator to me that solidifies Grand Ave as the community partner for me is how much I look forward to going there every week. College is hard. And stressful. And time-consuming. Even with all the burdens that come with being a college student, the thought of going to Grand Ave gets me through the week. Even though I’m there to help teach others, I often find myself being taught. No matter what, you’re always a student, never a master." 

How It Works

Bonner Leaders:

  • Serve 8-10 hours per week within the community
  • Participate in a training and enrichment program to supplement their knowledge and skills
  • Are dedicated to six common areas:
    • Social justice
    • Diversity
    • Community building
    • Spiritual exploration
    • Civic engagement
    • International Perspective

      Each Bonner Leader receives a direct grant of $3,000 annually.  

For a more complete overview of the Bonner Program and your potential commitment, please check out the Bonner Roadmap.

Qualifications

Each year, a cohort of students will be selected to join the Rollins College Bonner Leaders Program.

  • Students must be in the Undergraduate College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and be either an incoming first year OR a rising second year.
  • Bonner Leaders are selected through a highly competitive process open to incoming first-year students and rising second year students (so current first year students). Interested students who are eligible for federal work-study are encouraged to apply.
  • As a prerequisite of this service scholarship, Bonner Leaders are expected to demonstrate their commitment to serving others. These activities could include service with local nonprofit organizations, involvement or leadership with school clubs, mission trips, family responsibilities, and/or jobs outside of school.

How to apply:

Applications for the Class of 2022 Cohort will open Spring 2017. Check back for more information.

Learn more about the National Bonner Program.

Check out our Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Bonner Bugle!

Bonner Community Partners

What can a Rollins Bonner Leader do for you?

The Rollins Bonner Leaders Program sees the community as a co-educator and partner in teaching and learning. By partnering with the Rollins Bonner Leaders Program, your organization will:

  • Have access to an experienced volunteer base
  • Gain research opportunities with our academic community on campus
  • Be connected to a national network of over 80 American colleges and universities and their community partners

Bonner Leaders will typically be more prepared than the average volunteer to take on more intensive roles with your organization, ranging from project coordination to grant writing.

Rollins Bonner Leaders are expected to develop the knowledge and skills related to their service work over their four years at Rollins. Their personal development should be reflected in their responsibilities at their service site. Each year, students take on increasingly more complex responsibilities with their community partner.

Community Partner Guidelines

We see your role as co-educator and facilitator of an effective relationship between your organization and a Rollins Bonner Leader. It is highly recommended that someone from your staff be assigned to the student as a manager and mentor to their service. Your Bonner site supervisor will work with the students in creating a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) and will sign off on hour logs. It’s preferred that the site supervisor be present for the majority of the time that the student is on-site with your organization.

Community Learning Agreement: The CLA is a thoughtful way for Rollins Bonner Leaders to consider their own developmental goals in collaboration with the goals of the organization. This agreement is at the core of the partnership, enabling students and service sites to achieve mutually valuable goals.

Hour Logs: Hour logs are printed time sheets that the student and site supervisor will sign off on to affirm the student’s service hours at your organization. Deadlines will be provided.

If you are a community partner, please use our hours reporting system.

Who is a Rollins Bonner Leader?

Rollins Bonner Leaders are full-time undergraduate students who are passionate about working with the community and dedicated to addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time through community-based learning and service. 

Serving six to eight hours per week during four academic years and completing at least one summer internship experience, Rollins Bonner Leaders gain extensive experience working with and contributing to nonprofit organizations.

Values & Beliefs

 The Bonner Foundation:

  • Is committed to working with all people and institutions regardless of age, race, belief, or nationality
  • Believes that colleges have vital societal roles to play in 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 problems are the people who are most directly affected
  • Acknowledges that effective community service programs involve all stakeholders in their leadership
  • Understands that long-lasting partnerships are based on mutual respect and common commitments
  • Supports innovative programs that have the potential to serve as models for other higher education institution

Learn more about the National Bonner Program