The Bonner Leader program is a four-year service commitment for undergraduate students. Each year, eight students are selected from the freshmen class to participate in this intensive work and scholarship program. The Bonner Leader Program is designed to transform the lives of participating students, the University campus culture and the Tampa Bay community in which the students serve.
What do Bonner Leaders do?
Bonner Leaders work nine hours per week at a nonprofit organization in the Tampa Bay Area, with their wages paid from The University of Tampa’s work-study funding. During their first semester, the Bonner Leaders select their placement at a specific nonprofit organization with the hope that they will continue working there for their four years of college, gaining increasing responsibility each year. Several Bonner Leaders work at the same site and collaborate on various social justice initiatives.
In addition to their work off-campus, Bonner Leaders participate in a number of professional development opportunities. Each week, the Bonner Leaders meet for two hours to reflect upon their experiences and to enhance their skill set.
The Bonner Program Common Commitments
Bonners across the country explore the following values during the service:
- Civic Engagement: Exploring and participating intentionally in multiple forms and dimensions of engagement including service, political engagement, social action, and public policy.
- Community Building: Creating and sustaining a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and shared interests.
- Diversity: 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.
- International Perspective: Developing international and global understanding that enables individuals to participate successfully in an increasingly interconnected world, appreciate and transcend national boundaries.
- Social Justice: Understand and advocate for fairness, impartiality and equality in addressing systemic social and environmental issues.
- Spiritual Exploration: Reflect on and explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual and ethical practices and values of others.
- Wellness: Nurturing the development, resilience, thriving and sustenance of the whole person and of communities.
Benefits of Becoming a Bonner Leader
The Bonner Leader program offers additional financial assistance for a student to attend The University of Tampa. Bonner Leaders have the potential to receive:
- An annual $2,000 scholarship
- Federal Work-Study Funding, up to $2,000 for the year, as determined by the student’s financial aid package. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for Federal Work-Study Funding.
Applications for first-year students (freshmen) to the Bonner Leader Program are due Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, after Brin Robinson’s morning class wraps up, she walks across the Cass Street bridge to the Glazer Children’s Museum.
On the night that dance major Janel Wirley ’20 was supposed to perform in the Spring Dance Happening (April 29), she instead will be logging in to an online meeting with all the other performers, choreographers and dance majors, going through their rituals and commemorating the annual event digitally instead of on the stage. While she is disappointed not to be performing in person, she isn’t dismayed.
Arielle Pollock ’20 spends two days a week tutoring children, helping them with their homework, reports or just sitting and reading together.