Prospective Bonners

Prospective Bonners

About Us

Who are the Bonner Service Leaders?

Bonners are undergraduate students who utilize their academic talents to lead community change through service. They help to build a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane through direct service, professional development and scholarly examination of injustice. Some of Siena College's partner organizations work with at-risk youth, people suffering from disability and addiction, immigrants, formerly incarcerated and other marginalized populations.

The Bonner program is a four-year commitment for a student at one site that aims to combine service with academics and career goals. Placements are developmental, moving students through increasing levels of experience and responsibility across the four years. This program is unique because students get the opportunity to focus on social justice issues locally, nationally and internationally. Siena College is the only higher education institution in New York with this program.

Year by Year
Program YearDetails
1st YearStudents embark on a first-year service trip that is linked to a course in Rural Poverty. Students are exposed to rural poverty on this trip and learn about the challenges of poor rural communities. Previous trips have been to Northern Maine and Canada.
2nd YearStudents engage in a second-year exchange where they attend a regional or national conference and are exposed to the National Bonner Network of more than 80 institutions in the United States as well as international partners.
3rd YearStudents explore poverty at an international site through Academic Community Engagement's five-week global internship program. Current sites include Carmen Pampa, Bolivia and South Africa.
4th YearStudents complete a senior capstone where they culminate their four-year experience in a final thesis and presentation at the Siena College Academic Celebration.

The Experience

The Experience

Throughout a Bonner's career, he or she gets the opportunity to experience:

  • Community Building: Bonner Leaders enroll in common coursework as a cohort; attend weekly meetings as class-year cohorts, site-based teams and as a full Bonner Leader team; and build communities of service on their floor, in their residence halls, classes, among friends and in clubs and organizations.
  • Civic Engagement: Bonner Leaders are active participants in the democratic processes of their communities.
  • Diversity: Bonner Leaders work in the most diverse communities of the Capital Region, their home communities and across the world. Bonner Leaders value diversity, incorporate it into their academic coursework and train to be effective global team members.
  • International Perspective: Bonner Leaders experience at least one international trip in their first two years at Siena and spend five weeks in an international community development internship. 

  • Social Justice: Bonner Leaders pursue the root causes of poverty in their service sites and through their academic coursework, and seek to address those root causes in and through social change projects.
  • Spiritual Perspective: Bonner Leaders explore the spiritual dimension of service and partnership with the poor and marginalized in the tradition of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Benefits & Support


Financial Support

Bonner students receive up to $8,000 over their four years in the Siena College Bonner Program. This amount is a combination of Bonner institutional and federal work-study funds.

Opportunities to Grow Personally and Professionally
  • Guidance and support from ACE administrative staff
  • Professional development opportunities that will enhance a variety of skills
  • Opportunities to make close friends in college, many who have similar values and interests
  • A chance to network with Bonner Service Leaders from other schools as well as Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows
A Chance to Connect Your Academics with Community Engagement
  • ACE will get to know you and your interests, help you determine a service site in which to do you community engagement work, and work with you to develop your career goals
  • Participate in an enriched, hands-on academic pathway to a career in community service and engagement with a Certificate in Community Development.


Are You Ready?

Apply to be a Siena College Bonner Service Leader! 

Fill out the application form >>