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Bonner Leader Program

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Bonner Leaders are students who have demonstrated a commitment to service and have a desire to enhance their leadership skills. They are advocates for social justice and change. Bonner Leaders are diverse, a fact which they celebrate. If this sounds like you or someone you know, then we want to meet you!


The Bonner Leader Program is a four-year civic leadership and development program highlighted by regular training and reflection activities. Each Bonner Leader is partnered with a Charleston-area non-profit where s/he serves approximately 300 hours per academic year.  Bonner Leaders meet weekly to discuss important, relevant social justice issues with a focus on how they can personally make an impact in their communities.  Students provide valuable leadership in the Charleston community and promote a culture of service and civic engagement on campus.  Bonner Leaders receive a scholarship, helping them to balance financial commitments with their desire to engage in meaningful work experiences.  Perhaps most importantly, Bonner serves as a family, a “home away from home,” and a network for the students who participate.

Being a Bonner Leader Means

  • Having a commitment to strengthening the community through service.

  • Leadership development and opportunities.

  • Organizing campus and community-wide service projects and events.

  • Involvement in a community of peers dedicated to making a difference.

  • Participating in national service conferences as well as domestic and international service immersion travel.

  • Being open-minded and willing to work with diverse groups of people.

How to Become a Bonner

The Bonner Leader application process includes an online application and an interview with current Bonners via Skype.  Applications for incoming freshmen who have been accepted to the College of Charleston may be submitted through late April. 

Applications for incoming freshmen are only accepted through the onnline application, using the following link:

Bonner Leader Program Online Application 

Further, two letters of recommendation are needed for each applicant. The form can be found using the following link:

Bonner Leader Program Recommendation Form

Why Should I Become a Bonner Leader?

The Bonner Leader Program is a multi-year commitment that will challenge and support you to grow and develop in your service work. You will become more involved and take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles as you advance through the program.  Bonner will help you to develop leadership and professional skills through community service, as well as enable you to identify educational, career, and professional goals.  Scholarships offer outstanding students financial assistance and compensation for their commitment.  Our small but diverse group of students creates true understanding of other perspectives and cultures.  Best of all, Bonner allows you to serve as an agent for change in your community.

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Connect with Us

Check out the College of Charleston Bonner Leader Program blog at http://cofcbonner.blogspot.com/.

For more information about the Bonner Leader Program, e-mail Bonner@CofC.edu or ruggeriod@cofc.edu.

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