Meet Asia - Bonner Summer Intern

My name is Asia Robinson and I am a rising Junior at Allegheny College located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. I’m currently studying Community and Justice with a minor in Chinese Language and Culture. I have a passion for traveling, concerts and animals outside of my daily life of school and studying. Throughout my four years of living in Tennessee, I volunteered at an animal shelter doing a variety of different work. From walking dogs to cleaning cat kennels, to filing paper work into the computer. After seeing many abused and neglected animals come into the shelter, timid and some vicious, I knew I wanted to continue doing service after high school and build a community that was filled with kindness. Bonner gave me the space to help build that community of kindness within the Meadville community. I currently am the coordinator at Meadville Council on the Arts which is an art organization that offers many forms of art classes for the people in the to come and relieve their stress through art therapy. I try to be involved in as many things as I can on campus so I can get the full experience of college. I am involved of the Animal Welfare of Allegheny Club, I sing in the college chorus, I am a member of the Global Citizen Scholars program and the Bonner program. Due to my passion for service and traveling, I hope to create bonds and awareness of systematic oppression and social injustices across nations by immersing myself in cultures. I want to continue serving and building a community of kindness by working with the community. 

My transformative Bonner experience came during my first-year trip when we went to Detroit, Michigan to work with an organization called CASS. During this trip, I relearned the values of what it means to be in food poverty, after serving and eating in a soup kitchen all week, and the importance of community. This cornerstone in my Bonner experience is what brought my Bonner class closer than ever. It was an experience that helped us understand what a beloved community could be when you reach outside your comfort zone. I learned how to build structure among the madness that came with the work that was given to us and I learned to be a leader. The most memorable moment, amongst the many I had in Detroit, was when I decided to go outside my comfort zone and sit with a member of the community that I did not know instead of with my Bonner class. The lady, at first, was very secluded and made little conversation. It wasn’t until I decided to be more open to her and let her know a little about myself that she began to become more lively and talkative. That moment made me realized that even though the service we do is important, it is not the most valuable take away. I realized what it means to help each other and not just, “we help them.” After being in the frigid cold of Detroit for a week. I gained a love and respect for a community that didn’t need a hero, just a shoulder to lean on. 

During this summer internship, I want to gain stronger planning and communication skills back to my campus and a greater sense of professionalism. I hope to use the resources I learn from this summer to bring together the campus community with the civic engagement office, so we can build a campus dedicated to giving and learning from the community around us.  Also, the knowledge to build support and awareness for non-profit organizations. I also want to gain a better understanding of myself while I am here so I can improve and push myself as a critial thinker and as a person.