Bonner Leaders Program Debuts

Community service program links select undergraduates with local non-profit organizations.

It’s been a few months since the Office of Community Engagement first announced that the Bonner Leaders Program, a four-year community engagement program, was coming to Rollins. Designed as a scholarship program for full-time undergraduate students, Bonner gives students with a passion for working directly with non-profit organizations the opportunity to engage with the community to address some of the greatest challenges of our time.

“Over the course of the spring semester, we reached out to hundreds of potential incoming Rollins students to invite them apply for this four-year program,” says Meredith Hein, associate director for the Office of Community Engagement. “The response has been incredible so far. Incoming students are passionate about the issues facing the world today and motivated to engage with the local community as Rollins students.”

Developed by the Bonner Foundation, a national philanthropic organization based in Princeton, NJ, the Bonner Program provides students with a scholarship to help defray the cost of tuition and to empower them to continue to positively impact their communities.

“The program is for students who are already making significant contributions to the local community and are ready to further that passion,” Hein says. “There will be 10 Leaders chosen in total, and each will contribute 300 hours of service each year, in addition to a summer internship.”

The program will be accepting applications through June 7th and those who are selected will become Rollins’ very first Bonner Leaders. The Bonner team is also connecting with community non-profit partners who will act as co-educators by providing service opportunities for students.

“Our non-profit partners will definitely benefit from having a Bonner Leader work with them, but that student will also benefit from the educational experience provided by the community non-profit partner they work with,” Hein says. “Their personal development will be reflected in their responsibilities at their service site.” To that end, Hein will recommend that someone on staff at each site be assigned to the student as a manager and mentor to their service.

In the coming months, OCE will be announcing the names of the first Bonner Leaders, the inaugural group that will bring the program’s motto, Put Your Passion into Action, to life.

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