The Berea College Bonner Scholars Class of 2019 is fully engaged in the service and exploration that are part of the Bonner Scholars journey. This group of students began their first year with an orientation retreat that focused on an introduction to the Bonner Scholars Program and team building exercises. Their training has continued with opportunities for personal reflection, a focus on mentoring and working with children and youth, and time to explore the Common Commitments of the Bonner Scholars Program – social justice, civic engagement, community building, spiritual exploration, international perspective and diversity.
The First-Year Bonners lead after-school mentoring and tutoring programs for three groups of local elementary and middle school students, two days a week. In addition to their regular programming and training, members of the Bonner Class of 2019 have found opportunities to explore other aspects of service and advocacy. The Bonner Class of 2019 participated in the annual CELTS-sponsored, community-wide Hunger Hurts Food Drive and volunteer regularly with some of the CELTS Community Service programs. Additionally, Bonner Scholars volunteer outside of CELTS to serve with whom they feel a passion for.
One Bonner Scholar reflected, “The Bonner Scholars program and CELTS has helped me figure out who I am. They have given me opportunities to grow in ways I never could have imagined, into a person I never dreamed I could be. I have found a family who pushes me to grow, supports me when I need it, and share my passion for making a change.”