About The Bonner Program

“Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve”

The Bonner Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded by Corella and Bertram F. Bonner, the original purpose of the Foundation was to help those who, like Mr. and Mrs. Bonner, came from underprivileged backgrounds. Essentially, the Foundation aimed to provide access to education. In 1989, the Foundation began working with colleges and universities, seeking a way both to provide scholarships to students who could not otherwise afford to attend college, and to catalyze students and institutions of higher education to participate in community service in their own communities. What started with a small number of endowments at schools along the Appalachian Trail, has now grown to a national movement of roughly 3,000 students at over 80 schools working to improve their communities through service, service learning, and gain an understanding of what it truly means to be an engaged citizen.

From the Bonner Foundation

The entire network of Bonner schools all commit to the following values called the Common Commitments:

Civic Engagement: exploring and participating intentionally in multiple forms and dimensions of engagement including service, political engagement, social action, and public policy;

Community Building: creating and sustaining a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and shared interests

Diversity: respecting the many different dimensions of personal and group identities (such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, physical and mental ability) and creating opportunities to dialogue and learn across them

International Perspective: developing international and global understanding that enable individuals to participate successfully in an increasingly interconnected world, appreciate and transcend national boundaries

Social Justice: understand and advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equity in addressing systemic social and environmental issues

Spiritual Exploration: reflect on and explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual and ethical practices and values of others

Wellness: nurturing the development, resilience, thriving and sustenance of the whole person and of communities