Students smile while volunteering at a park.

About the Bonner Scholar Program

At Washburn University, making a difference is not something that you have to wait to do. The Aleshire Center for Leadership and Community Engagement believes that all learners who step foot on campus have the potential to be the leaders and changemakers of both tomorrow AND TODAY.

The Bonner Scholar Program combines this belief with the Washburn University motto, "Not for Ourselves Alone," and puts it into practice with hands-on experiences, mentorship, and training and enrichment activities as members progress through a developmental model of civic leadership. Bonners respond to the economic, social, and environmental challenges affecting the quality of life in the city of Topeka and beyond to ensure the existence of thriving, just communities for all. They learn by engaging with Aleshire Center faculty, their peers in the program and the community to gain critical skills that positively impact them as a student, a neighbor, a professional and a citizen. The program challenges and supports Bonners to take their passion for an issue and put it into action by working with co-educators in the community to address their identified needs through both direct service and capacity building.

The Bonner Scholar Program at Washburn is part of a larger Bonner network of colleges and universities supported by the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, NJ, which also provides national opportunities for students during both their time in the program and after graduation.

Benefits of being a Bonner

Scholarships & wages

You'll have the opportunity to earn an hourly wage and/or scholarship money for your community engaged work.

Firsthand experience

You'll gain experience and knowledge about the community and the world that connect back to your academic studies.

Real-world leadership

You'll put into practice your leadership, advocacy and other skills that will translate into other arenas, both personal and professional.

Deeper understanding

You'll gain a deeper understanding of the seven common commitments of service: civic engagement, community building, diversity, international perspective, social justice, spiritual/personal growth, and wellness.

Connections & friendships

Connections and friendships with other members of the Washburn and Bonner communities who are committed to the same issues as well as increased local and national networks and resources.

Official recognition

Two designations/accomplishments that appear on you r transcript: (1) the university honor of Bonner Scholar and (2) the Washburn Transformational Experience in Community & Civic Engagement.

Become a Bonner

Be a changemaker

Be transformed

Make a difference

GET IN TOUCH WITH the Aleshire Center

Mailing Address
1700 SW College Avenue
Benton Hall, room 408
Topeka, KS 66621

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