Bonner Application


The application for the Bonner Leader Program Class of 2026 is now open! Complete applications, including recommendations, are due Friday, May 20th, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. 


The Bonner Leader Program is a unique leadership development program for students with an interest in service and civic engagement. The program provides students an avenue to impact their campuses, their local communities and the world through leadership and excellence in service. Applicants are chosen based on their demonstrated leadership potential, and all students with an interest in meaningful and significant service are encouraged to apply.

The application is open to all incoming first-year students at the College of Charleston. The application process is competitive and highly selective. Seven incoming first-year applicants will be selected to be a part of the Bonner Leader Program. 

After applications are reviewed, finalists will be contacted in Mid-June and invited to complete a Zoom interview.

How to apply:

  1. Complete the online application form. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 20, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
  2. Submit two references who can speak to the applicant’s leadership potential and interest in service. They must complete the Bonner Leader Program Reference Form by Friday, May 20, 2022.


The application form contains 8 short essay questions. Most of the prompts are designed to be answered in 2-3 paragraphs, but please take as much space as you need. We encourage you to write your responses to the essay questions before starting the application and pasting them into the application form. Please see the full list of essay prompts below.

- Why are you interested in the Bonner Leader Program, and what do you hope to gain from the program?

- What is one social, political, or economic issue that is important to you and why?

- Tell us about a time when you failed.

- What motivates you?

- Are you diverse?

- What makes a good leader? Who is the best leader you know or know of?

- Please select one of the following to answer:

                          What do you like most about yourself?

                          Are you a hammer or nail?

                          What was your favorite childhood book?

- Is there anything else you would like the selection committee to know about you that you feel is not adequately reflected in your previous answers? Feel free to be creative.



To learn more about the national Bonner network, please visit the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation website at


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