Caroline Burrows

Graduation Year – May 2024

Hometown – Richmond, VA

Do you speak any languages other than English? – No

What is your major(s) and minor(s)? – Major in Social Work with a double minor in Psychology and Leadership Studies

What are your educational and/or career goals? How do you see your participation in the Bonner program relating to them? – I would like to go to graduate school to become a clinical social worker and continue in the world of nonprofits and then eventually work on social policy.

What is your service site and service track(s)? – Freekind; Women’s Interests

Other than Bonner and your service site, what organizations are you involved with (on and/or off campus)? – I am a member of the President’s Leadership Program and a Resident Assistant through Residence Life.

Why did you want to become a Bonner Service Scholar? – I wanted to become a Bonner so that I could serve the Newport News community with purpose and passion, and so I would be able to create meaningful, long-term change. Bonner is more than one time service and focuses on relationship building to learn the needs of the community.

What is your favorite experience that the Bonner Program has given you? I have gained a large amount of personal and professional experiences through the program, but my favorite experience is the research that I am able to do with Freekind. As a college student I get to work with professionals in my perspective field on a daily basis to research, analyze, and implement methods to better the lives of the clients we serve on a large-scale. I am able to engage in conferences, interviews, meetings, and relationships that give me knowledge that I can rely on during and after my time as a student.

What advice would you give to a new Bonner to help them get the most out of the program? – I would tell them to embrace the situations that are both exciting and uncomfortable. Through doing this in the program so far I have learned more things than I thought possible, and gained the skills to work in a professional setting. The program is a safe space to step out of your comfort zone and use difficult experiences as learning moments.

What have you learned about yourself from being a Bonner? – I’ve learned that my impact is so much stronger than I think, and the way I interact with people around me makes a difference. I struggled with confidence for a large part of my life because I thought my experience was not important to those around me, but Bonner has taught me that my voice, my words, and my thoughts matter. Additionally, that the voices, words, and thoughts of others should be equally valued despite difference.

What do you think your role is in creating social change? What do you see yourself doing in the future to further your role? – My role in social change is to listen first to those whom the change would benefit or harm and then act based on what would serve those individuals the most. In the future I hope that I work in policy creation so that I can increase my role and further the development of beneficial social change.

What are your hobbies and/or interests (outside of academics and Bonner)? – I enjoy anything crafty! I have recently learned to sew and am constantly testing out new patterns and fabrics.

List your favorite: book, movie, musician/band, food, and quote – Book: The Great Gatsby; Movie: Finding Nemo; Musician: Chance the Rapper; Food: Chicken tenders; Quote: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently” – Maya Angelou

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