Program Overview

The Bonner Program uses a five stage student developmental model that seeks to identify, develop, and integrate service passions, career interests, and academic pursuits. Over their four years, students are challenged and supported to grow and develop in their service work. As a result, students become more involved and take on

Prior to First-Year: Expectancy

Starting something new is exciting but can also be a little overwhelming. Knowing what to expect helps. You will:

  • Receive information about the national Bonner network and Christopher Newport Bonner Program
  • Connect with Christopher Newport Bonner interns who personally meet with new cohort members to share information and answer questions
  • Get to know your new cohort at Bonner orientation before classes start

You will have a clear sense of what it means to be a Bonner Scholar, how the program, and what is required.

Year One: Exploration

Once on campus, you will explore your new community and service options. You will:

  • Attend IDST 250 – Intro to Civic Engagement & Social Justice in the fall semester to study community development theory and social justice issues, and understand the history, assets, and challenges in the local community
  • Explore and shadow at Bonner service sites
  • Participate in activities that help identify your passions and choose your service home
Year Two: Experience

Second-year Bonners focus on gaining more experience working with their site, population, and community. As a result, you will:

  • Understand your site’s mission, operations, and program
  • Develop greater understanding of your community and underlying issues
  • Increase your confidence, skills, and ability to support your service site
Year Three: Example

As a third-year Bonner, you set the example for first- and second-year Bonners. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Emerge as a role model, mentor, and leader both within the program and with your site team
  • Step into capacity-building roles at your site and determine senior capstone project/subject
  • Gain valuable professional and personal skills by assuming leadership positions
Year Four: Expertise

Bring together all you have learned to share and use your expertise with the Bonner Program and at your site. You will:

  • Solidify your Bonner legacy through leadership roles
  • Use your expertise as a leader and mentor within the program to support rising Bonner leaders
  • Enroll in IDST 470 – Seminar in Civic Engagement & Social Justice to connect service, academica, and career interests in a senior capstone project
  • Reflect on and share your journey, learning, and accomplishments with peers, faculty, community partners, and family at the Bonner year-end celebration