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College Scholarship Program for Volunteerism

College Scholarship Program for Volunteerism

The Bonner Scholars Program is a unique program that offers students scholarships for volunteerism. This is a great opportunity if you want to commit to volunteer leadership, full-time community service, and civic engagement during your college years.

  • The founding mission is to provide diverse low-income, under-represented, and first-generation students with the opportunity to attend college, while engaging their talents and education in building and supporting communities.
  • Each year campuses in the Bonner Network recruit an incoming cohort of between five and 40 new students with high financial need (defined as Pell eligible) and an ethic for service.

The Bonner Program is designed 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.

Thoughtful Goals Of The Program

  • The goals of the program are identified in four areas:
    • student development,
    • campus engagement,
    • community involvement, and
    • higher education
  • For the Student: To provide access to a college education for students with high financial need, to afford students the opportunity to enhance and use their abilities, talents, and leadership to serve others while in college, to create a supportive community of students on campus whose common focus on community service gives them a sense of purpose and meaning, and to serve as a successful model to other colleges and universities who are interested in starting their own community service scholarship program.
  • For The Campus: To help recruit and retain a diverse group of students who might not otherwise be able to attend college, challenge and support the college, and support a core group of student leaders to build and strengthen the organizations on campus that promote a culture of service, and
  • For the Community: To channel the energies of college students, faculty, and staff to continue to improve and expand upon the quality and nature of services offered to the community, to break down the barriers between town and gown leading to improved communication and greater collaboration between the two.
  • To form a consortium of diverse higher education institutions which share a common commitment to service.

Integrated Approach

  • The Bonner Program rests on a number of developmental models that focuses on students, partnerships, and faculty engagement

Bonner program goals, strategies & impact

  • The Bonner Program is built along a four-year model for students which translates into a set of expectations and experiences, both in the context of community service and engagement and within students’ academic and co-curricular learning
  • At the core of this model is the opportunity for students to work intensively over each semester of the academic year, often supplemented by full-time summer internships as well.
  • A student can even stay with the same partner – typically a school, nonprofit organization, or government agency – over multiple years, taking on increased leadership, program, and management roles.

The motto “Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve” distills the overarching goal of the Bonner Program.  Since 1990, a diverse, multi-state consortium of participating colleges and universities have been joined through a common commitment to the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation’s mission to “transform students, communities, and campuses through service.” 

More details are available at:

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