Center for Leadership & Community Engagement

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. 

Two Students GardeningBonner Student MeetingBonner Service ProjectBonner Students Eating Together


Each week Bonner Leaders complete 8 hours of direct service utilizing their strengths and interests to best serve the needs of the Central Florida community

Active Engagement

The Bonner Leaders program emphasizes service and active intentional reflection to promote a critical understanding of issues impacting the community

Bon Fond

Each year our first-year Bonner Leaders attend a service learning immersion with the first-year Alfond Scholars

Building Bridges

The Rollins Bonner Leaders program is part of a national network of 65 colleges and universities. Each year the Bonner network comes together through regional and national conferences to share best practices, brainstorm projects and initiatives, and learn about other Bonner programs,

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


A four-year, community service opportunity, the Rollins College Bonner Leaders Program provides scholarships to students who are passionate about volunteering with a local non-profit organization and participating in training and enrichment related to community engagement throughout their time at Rollins. 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.

“I came to Rollins because of the Bonner Program. Bonner provides me with the opportunity to work on issues that are important to me while also pursuing my education. The ability to have a long-term placement with a non-profit organization has allowed me to build meaningful relationships and a greater sense of belonging to the local community.”

How It Works

Rollins College Bonner Leaders:

  • Serve 6-8 hours per week with a local, nonprofit organization
  • Engage in 2-4 hours per week of training and enrichment through Bonner interdisciplinary classes
  • Are dedicated to six common commitments: Social justice, Diversity, Community-Building, Spiritual Exploration, Civic Engagement, and International Perspective
  • Arrive to campus early to participate in an annual fall retreat with other Bonner Leaders
  • Participate in two immersive experiences: first-year intercession immersion, sophomore exchange
  • Complete one summer of service with a community-based organization
  • Conduct a senior capstone project that involves community-based research
  • Log their hours using the Bonner Web-based Reporting Systems (BWBRS)
  • Encourage other Rollins students to get involved in service and leadership initiatives
  • Receive 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

Who is a Rollins Bonner Leader?

Rollins Bonner Leaders are a diverse group of 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.  Rollins Bonner Leaders gain extensive experience working with and contributing to nonprofit organizations and also serve as ambassadors on-campus to get other students involved in the community.


Each year, a cohort of approximately 10 students will be selected to join the Rollins College Bonner Leaders Program. Students must be in the Undergraduate College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and an incoming first-year. Bonner Leaders are selected through a highly competitive process that includes a written application and an interview round. 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:

In order to apply for this year’s Bonner cohort, you must be an incoming first-year student who has already been accepted to Rollins College. The application will be available beginning January 15, 2019. For more information about the Bonner Leaders Program or the application process, please contact Rollins Bonner Program Director, Bailey Clark, at

Learn more about the National Bonner Program.

Bonner Community Partners

The Bonner Leaders Program partners with non-profit organizations in multiple issue areas, including: education, the environment, hunger and homelessness, healthcare, youth with disabilities, and much more. Examples include: Killarney Elementary School, Shepherd’s Hope, The Coalition for the Homeless, BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, The Orlando City Soccer Foundation, and IDEAS For Us. Bonner community partners serve as co-educators in community engagement. Bonner Leaders are expected to develop new knowledge and skills related to their service work over their four years at Rollins and apply what they are learning at their partner sites. Each year, students take on increasingly more complex responsibilities with their community partner to enhance the organization’s ability to fulfill community needs.


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.

For more information about becoming a Bonner community partner site, please contact Rollins Bonner Program Director, Bailey Clark, at

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