The Augsburg Bonner Leaders Program was created with the belief that college students engaged in service have unique gifts and talents that bring energy, creativity, and hope to individuals and communities. It is based also on the belief that colleges and universities can and must be a telling presence in thier local communities. The Augsburg Bonner Leaders Program is a service-based work study program that encourages leadership development for students who are dedicated to integrating community and civic engagement into their college learning experience.
Bonner Leaders work in the community on issues such as improving educational opportunities, promoting literacy for immigrants and refugees, fighting hunger and food justice, ending homelessness and poverty, and advocating against systems of oppression like racism. The mission, location, and connection to the community through Augsburg College provide unique and challenging opportunities for Bonner students to work, learn, and serve while pursuing their education. This program provides financial support through work study jobs for students who are dedicated to integrating community and civic engagement into their college learning experience and provides an opportunity for leadership, professional, and practical skill development. The Bonner Program is designed to transform not only the students who are directly supported by the program, but also the campus and community in which they learn and serve.
The Bonner Leaders program at Augsburg College is located in the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning and is funded through a partnership between the National Bonner Foundation, Augsburg College, and AmeriCorps Education Awards. For more information about the national network of Bonner Leaders programs, visit the national Bonner Foundation site.
What does a Bonner Leader do?
In the Augsburg Bonner Program, we focus most on student development through direct engagement in the community. Bonner Leaders work in the community on issues such as improving educational opportunities, promoting literacy, fighting hunger, building sustainable environments, promoting racial justice and ending poverty. The students in the Bonner program meet with the program director, fellow Bonners, and their site supervisors in the community often to improve their skills and to deepen their understanding of social issues affecting their community. As students increase their skills, knowledge, and experience, they advocate for larger social or policy changes.
Regular meetings provide the opportunity for students to build a community and reflect on their work in the community together. Bonner students are also very engaged on campus. They are focused on creating a greater understanding of campus-community collaboration as well as engaging other students in the important work to be done in the community. Many Bonner students lead on campus through student government, residence life, and other student organizations such as Community LINK, Campus Kitchen, or MPIRG.
Common Commitments of the Bonner Program
We seek to establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, shared interests and appreciation for differences.
Civic Engagement begins with the decision to participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process and actively engaging in civic life in ways that range from direct service to shaping public policy.
We respect and embrace the many dimensions of diversity in our private and public lives.
We explore and develop international understanding that enables us to participate successfully in a global society.
We advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equality while addressing systemic social and environmental issues.
We explore personal belief while respecting the spiritual practices of others.