Service is a key component of participation in the Bonner Scholars Program and each Bonner Scholar is required to have a labor position in service either at the College or in the community. Additionally, Bonners must complete two Summers of Service where they spend seven weeks engaged in regional, national or international communities beyond Berea. For most Bonners, the commitment to service goes well beyond requirements which means that at Berea, Bonners lead and volunteer in service activities throughout the year.
Where in the world would you like to make a difference?
Wherever Bonners serve, they build connections from people to organizations, to each other, and to the community … strengthening us all in the process.
First Year Service
As a First Year Bonner the emphasis is on individual development and team support. The first year experience enables Bonners to safely explore their strengths and weaknesses, discover their leadership style in a variety of roles, and develop leadership and programming skills that will serve them as they grow in the Bonner Program. First Years work on a team of five guided by an upper level student serving as Program Coordinator. Each of the three teams is responsible for planning, coordinating and executing one of three afterschool mentoring programs.
- One World works with elementary-age children and focuses on introducing diversity through cultural games and activities.
- Free 2 Be engages middle schoolers in activities focused on interpersonal communication, respect for differences and peer acceptance.
- Slip into Wassi merges service, leadership and diversity education in a program aimed at 7th and 8th graders.
Growing Up Bonner: Sophomore Year and Beyond
Beginning in the sophomore year, Bonners have the opportunity to choose the labor positions they wish to have. Each spring upper-level Bonners apply to work in service positions on and off campus. We encourage upperclassmen to pursue positions that meet a vocational interest or personal passion. As Bonners grow and develop they often assume leadership roles within their chosen organization. They may work independently or supervise other student leaders, but in each case they are focused on making a contribution to our campus or local community.
CELTS Sponsored Programs
In addition to being the home of the Bonner Scholars Program, the Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service serves as both home and program site for a number of service organizations staffed and led by students, many of whom are Bonners. (See programs for descriptions of CELTS service opportunities.)
Service happens all over campus and Bonners are often involved. In recent years Bonners have taken on a number of roles across campus including the following:
- Counselor/Mentor with Upward Bound, Gear Up or the Black Cultural Center
- Student Advocate for Local Food Initiatives
- Coordinator of the Diversity Peer Education Team
- Resource Liaison for area Small Businesses/Non Profits
Bonners support the work of a variety of community partners in and around Berea. Their contributions make a difference in Berea, in the region and beyond.
- Family Resource Center Program Assistant
- Sponsorship Coordinator with Save the Children
- Program Assistant with Berea Food Bank
- Legislative/Research Assistant with the the Kentucky Environmental Foundation or Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
- Education Assistant-New Opportunity School for Women
Each Bonner can access up to $2500 to help fund their project. Then you are limited only by imagination, commitment and your desire to learn. Recent summer experiences have included:
- Summer camps for special needs children
- Zoological research work on endangered species
- Teaching English and constructing wells at a Mexican Mission
- Advocacy work with national unions
- Family and patient support in hospitals
- Photo documentation for researchers in the Peruvian rainforest
- Working with urban resettlement of refugees