Bonner Leaders give back
Last week, 32 incoming freshmen joined the Bonner Leaders Program, a network of undergraduate students from across the nation supporting their local communities. The program plans to add more members each year and to expand its connections to the Houston community.
Andrew Hamilton, associate dean of The Honors College and director of the Bonner Leaders Program,said the program’s goal is to “train students to be good (service) leaders to help community organizations.”
The Bonner Leaders Program requires members to dedicate at least 10 hours each week to community service with community organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity or Urban Harvest. As the program grows, this will add up to “tens of thousands of hours per year,” Hamilton said.
The Bonner Program plans to increase its membership during the next few years to be the largest chapter in the country, with more than 120 members. Bonner Leaders are selected for their high academic performance, service commitment and leadership potential.
Those who are part of the program are trained in the skills, knowledge and leadership that will allow them to assist organizations while they are in the program as well as later in life. This training and experience turns them into capable service leaders.
“I’m really excited to go into the community and do more than volunteer for a single day,” said biotechnology freshman Grace Schwartz.
One goal of the students is to make a significant difference in the way people view community service and being civically engaged in Houston.
“The cool part about it is we get to help in ways that we think that we can help best. Also, we will get better in ways that we didn’t expect,” said pre-business freshman Christian Madison.
The program will not be accepting new members until next fall, and the current application system will be changing. For more information on the program, check out its page at innovate.uh.edu/service.