Bonner Leaders are students who are committed to community service, desire to develop leadership skills, and are interested in issues of social justice.
Students in the Bonner Program commit to four years of regular service with Lynchburg nonprofits that address community needs such as food and housing insecurity, poverty, college access, environmental sustainability, and others. In addition to weekly trainings and leadership development, students also receive financial assistance through work study funds.
Advocacy in Action
The Bonner Program develops students who are civically engaged. They take action on a variety of issues and work for change within the community. Whether attending a city council meeting, working in an urban garden, or tutoring in after school programs, Bonners are actively involved in making a positive difference.
Program components include:
- Orientation to the program before the school year begins
- 300 hours of community service per academic year with an average of 8-10 hours per week
- Participation in weekly training and reflection activities
- Team-building activities to build a cohesive, supportive group of Bonner Leaders
- Leadership development through student-designed and coordinated projects
- Networking events such as regional and national conferences
- Opportunities to participate in service-learning projects with faculty and community partners
- Promoting an understanding of the six common commitments
The 6 Common Commitments:
- Community Building
- Creating and sustaining a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and shared interests
- Respecting the many different dimensions of personal and group identities (such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, physical and mental ability) and creating opportunities to dialogue and learn across them
- Civic Engagement
- Exploring and participating intentionally in multiple forms and dimensions of engagement including service, political engagement, social action, and public policy
- Social Justice
- Understand and advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equity in addressing systemic social and environmental issues
- International Perspective
- Developing international and global understanding that enable individuals to participate successfully in an increasingly interconnected world, appreciate and transcend national boundaries
- Spiritual Exploration
- Reflect on and explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual and ethical practices and values of others
Want to be a Bonner Leader?
Incoming first year students who have been accepted to the University of Lynchburg may apply by March 15 each year.