The 2013-2014 year was the inaugural year for High Point University’s Bonner Leader Program. Six juniors and seniors, in addition to two Service Learning faculty and an AmeriCorps VISTA committed to developing the foundation for an extraordinary program that will truly make a difference in the High Point community. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the program grew 2.5 times the size – introducing a cohort of 14 students, and two more AmeriCorps VISTAs. The Bonner Leader Program is a service-learning and leadership program, that allows students to promote social justice through their intern-like experience with local non-profit and community-based organizations. These students’ commitment to service is rewarded with compensation via Federal Work-Study as well as other university benefits.
The Bonner Leader Program is a four-year responsibility. Students commit to 6-8 hours of community service each week, culminating in over 200 hours of community service during each academic year. In addition to consistent service with community partners, the Bonner Leader Program promotes leadership development in students. The program includes weekly training and reflection workshops, as well as team and skill-building activities. Bonner Leaders also engage peers and others in service through community and on-campus student-designed projects and initiatives.
The Bonner Leaders Program is part of a nationwide network of 70+ colleges and universities affiliated with and guided by the The Bonner Foundation. The program was founded in 1990 by the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Bonner Foundation works with colleges and universities across the nation to support students to attend college and to be active and involved in community service during their pursuit of an advanced degree.