Experiential learning through community engagement is a long term investment. Sometimes the payoff takes decades because Guilford College's stewardship is built on the idea that some good things can't be measured by quarterly returns or academic semesters. Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning and its student coordinators and teams of student volunteers have run some community sites for years, long enough for refugee and immigrant children who were tutored by Guilfordians to have grown up ready for college themselves.
"The Bonner Scholars program not only showed me the world, it changed the way I see it. Bonner Scholars who complete their service hours during the school year receive a stipend to cover travel and living expenses on an international service trip of their choice each summer. I was able to study and complete my volunteer work in Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Dubai, China, and India."
You could say Van Tran got the most out of her college experience.
Tran graduated cum laude from Emory & Henry College in 2005. She was a Bonner Scholar for three years. And she received the outstanding senior scholarship at graduation.
Despite those accomplishments, Tran said she most appreciates the community service she performed while a student --- swinging a hammer for Habitat for Humanity and being a friend to youth with disabilities at River’s Way adventure center.
Mamta Gurung ’18, who is majoring in accounting, has been named the first Bonner Center Public Health Fellow in recognition of her work, including tutoring, mentoring and educating, members of international and immigrant communities.
The purpose of this new fellowship is to draw attention to significant health issues that can no longer be classed as local or international but must be regarded in an ever-shrinking world as both. Therefore, the Public Health Fellow is charged with exploring mentored, real-world experiences located here in the region and internationally.
oseph "Joey" Courtney exudes a volunteer spirit as he heeds the call to serve in the Boy Scouts of America, living out the Boy Scout slogan "Do a good turn daily."
Courtney, a 19-year-old sophomore at Maryville College, hails from Knoxville, Tenn. He is a Bonner Scholar who volunteers at least 40 hours per month in exchange for scholarship monies to apply toward tuition and books.
The 2016 North Carolina Heritage Awards recognized traditional backstrap weavers H Ju Nie and H Ngach Rahlan, who are Bonner Center community partners.
Since both Greensboro weavers are elderly, Bonner Center Volunteer Training Coordinator Andrew Young and his wife, Betsy Renfrew, herself a weaving expert, accompanied the artists to the North Carolina Executive Mansion for dinner May 24 with Gov. Pat McCrory, N.C. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, and N.C. Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin.
Seventeen Emory & Henry College students travelled to New York City in March to assist in projects related to hunger and homelessness.
The students, who are E&H Bonner Scholars, sorted and distributed food in large-scale food pantries, cooked and served meals to homeless guests, and assisted in childcare facilities. Bonner Scholars are awarded scholarship in recognition of their commitments to service.
Being born and raised in Tazewell County in Southwest Virginia, I know first-hand the struggles and challenges that living in a coal mining community can have on every aspect of human life.
A nearby town in McDowell County, W. Va., also knows the challenges of this lifestyle all too well. War, a once booming coal mining town and the place to go in the 1940s, is now a ghost town due to the trickle-down effect of losing the major economic sector of the community.
Not long after Helen Mandalinic ’14 arrived at Guilford in 2010, she began volunteering with the Community Kitchens Project, a program that packages cafeteria leftovers into meals and delivers those meals to the area’s needy.
She quickly realized her passion for service didn’t need to be put on hold for her studies, and her education at Guilford would extend beyond the classroom and the campus.
People in the Davidson area and beyond who are interested in public policy now have a great new resource, thanks to the college's Bonner Scholars. The Bonner Scholars recently unveiled their latest project–a comprehensive website called PolicyOptions.org focused on bringing together in one place information regarding public policy, policy changes and social services.
Naomi Coffman '16 and Rashaun Bennett '16 are the Bonners primarily responsible for keeping the website up to date.
The project began at Davidson in the fall of 2013. Kristin Booher of the Center for Civic Engagement office encouraged Coffman, along with Zoe Williams '14 and Philip Yu '16, to get involved, and Coffman immediately saw the potential.
For the last two years, Davis and his fellow Sewanee student leaders have gathered groups of boys at Grundy County High twice a week for this program, which they named “Man Up.” Davis is a Bonner Leader, a participant in a service internship and leadership program that sends students into Sewanee and neighboring communities to serve in a variety of ways. Davis and other Bonner Leaders founded the Man Up program in 2014 after talking to another Bonner Leader who had started a regular women’s empowerment luncheon at GCHS and thought the boys in the school could use a program made just for them.
"We went on our Alternative Break (AB) trip to help teach schoolchildren, but I think we learned more than they did," said senior Bonner Scholar Rebecca Worrell.
Worrell and 13 other Davidson students went to Selma, Ala., for spring break. During five busy days they worked at three schools, visited sites that are historically significant to the Civil Rights Movement and participated in non-violence training courses.
Kindergarten student Quentin Larkey rarely missed an opportunity to read books each Saturday morning this semester with Emory & Henry students who volunteered at a children’s reading program at the Glade Spring Library.
His mother, Rachel Larkey, said her son was very excited to attend the reading program each week. “Toward the end of the semester, he was already reading easy readers. It helped him tremendously with his skills.”
In early March, students from Tusculum College’s Bonner Leader program participated in an alternative spring break that included a focus on service, rather than surf time.
The students took a trip to Orlando, Fla., where they stayed with members of the College Park Baptist Church and took part in activities that benefited the community. Due to the onset of snow, they arrived a day late to Florida but they were nonetheless excited to start their spring break and volunteering, according to Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at the college.
Among the typical fall-term conversations about mid-terms and the upcoming fall break, other important conversations are being had by first-year Bonner students: in particular, where they will be performing up to 2,000 hours of community service in the years ahead.
Centre currently hosts up to 60 Bonner students on campus, each of whom have a specific service site they work at every week. Bonners are dedicated to addressing a variety of social issues, including poverty, diversity, access to education and/or healthcare and community development. Bonners work to solve these problems in the Danville and Boyle County community through eight to 10 hours of community service per week—a hefty commitment when added to demanding course loads and extracurricular activities.
Stetson University students who volunteer as income tax preparers for local families, reached a major milestone on the evening of Wednesday, March 9, 2016: $1 million in total tax refunds.
Through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, Stetson students are trained to become IRS-certified tax preparation agents who help prepare and file tax returns for families with an income limit up to $54,000.
After six years of operation, the VITA Program just reached its one-millionth dollar in total tax refunds during the Wednesday night session.
The Bonner Scholars Program and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies sold Colleen Connolly, '14, on the University of Richmond when she visited campus as a high school student. Now Connolly is combining a double major in leadership studies and political science with her Bonner Scholars service in order to study children in educational settings from many different perspectives. In the process, she has learned not only how to serve, but how to lead.
Centre continues to climb the Washington Monthly’s annual rankings of the nation’s top 255 liberal arts colleges, ascending from #36 to #35 and marking its fourth year in a row holding a top-50 spot.
Unlike other ranking systems, which often focus on campus life or academic rigor, Washington Monthly magazine analyzes a college’s “contribution to the public good” in three different categories; as its website states, overall rankings “reflect excellence across the full breadth of our measures” rather than excellence in one category alone.
Taylor Ballinger, ’07, had a very influential friend during his undergraduate education at Berea College. This friend was a special needs child who was a member of the Berea Buddies program, which pairs Berea student mentors with children from the community. Ballinger saw in this child the same boundless potential that Berea College had recognized in himself. Their close relationship inspired Ballinger to pursue a future as a special education teacher with Teach for
Kevin Wilson, ’13, embraces political and government service as a means of working for the betterment of society.
During his senior year in high school, the Franklinville, N.J., native served as an advisor to President Barack Obama’s election campaign and as a member of Obama’s transition team. Following his high school graduation, he worked as a summer consultant for the Domestic Policy Council, which oversees the development and implementation of the president’s domestic-policy agenda.