Bonners Leadership Program

Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve

The Bonner Leadership Program is a nationally recognized four-year, undergraduate civic engagement program providing leadership and professional development training, academic support, engagement opportunities, and a social network. 

The Bonner Leadership Program (BLP) emphasizes: 

  • an exploration into the ideas of citizenship and democracy, 
  • the different modes of civic engagement,
  • the application of these ideals across a changing social and political landscape through both local and global community perspectives. 

By integrating formative educational opportunities through classroom learning and hands-on experiences in the community, Bonner Leaders place academics at the core of their engagement and in so doing examine the systemic causes of community challenges. 

Bonner Leaders become lifelong leaders in "building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane." Bonner Leaders make a multi-year commitment to integrating academics, community engagement, and leadership into their university experience. Bonner Leaders engage in long-term, team-based, developmental placements through committed, reciprocal, collaborative partnerships.

Bonner Leaders participate in the national service movement and assist in establishing Nevada as a national model of academic community engagement by representing our institution at national conferences and at other national forums. 

Core pillars

The Bonners Leaders Program is currently committed to fulfilling its six universal pillars. These are as follows:

  • Civic engagement
  • Community building
  • Community perspective
  • Diversity
  • Identity exploration
  • Social justice


You may be eligible for the Bonner Leadership Program if you:

  • Demonstrated interest in community service and leadership 
  • An incoming first-year student in the fall semester
  • Have submitted a FAFSA to the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Are eligible for a federal work-study award and demonstrate financial need

 Preference will be given to: 

  • First-generation college students
  • Students who have participated in college access programs (e.g. Dean’s Future Scholars, Upward Bound, AVID, TRIO, GearUp etc.)

Program expectations 

  • Commit to working with a group of diverse and similarly engaged students
  • Fulfill expectations asked of you and show initiative in this program and the surrounding community
  • Become a part of a dedicated team of leaders in community service and social justice by being matched with one community-based organization for a multi-year partnership based upon community needs
  • Experience increasing responsibility and leadership working with their organization, on campus, in classes, and abroad
  • Develop expertise in community-engaged work, social justice, and social action and become an advocate on campus and in the community
  • Demonstrate respect for the opinions and cultures of others
  • Ask questions when they need help and meet with Bonner staff in a timely manner about any issues or concerns
  • Display professionalism in attitude and dress while interacting with the community partners; arrive on time and keep a consistent schedule

Program benefits

Bonner Leaders will experience the following benefits: 

  • Earn work-study pay for eight to ten hours of program service, training and reflection each week 
  • Gain valuable work experience, leadership skills, and career insight by engaging in progressively more challenging and meaningful training and community service activities
  • Develop an appreciation for the experiences of those different from you
  • Become an essential part of peer and staff support that cultivates a stronger sense of belonging on campus
  • Become an active leader on campus and in the community
  • Network with other members of this nationally recognized program
  • Have the opportunity to travel and participate in national service, civic engagement and leadership conferences
  • Upon completion of the Bonner program in senior year, Bonner Leaders will receive a certificate of completion and a purple sash in recognition of their service at graduation

Application requirements

  1. Completion of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
  2. Complete the Bonner Leader Application form

Apply to the Bonner Leadership Program

Current members

Class of 2025 Cohort

  • Anjalee Girthens (she/her) - Biomedical Engineering
  • Jashion Kaur (she/her) - Social Work/Human Development and Family Science

Class of 2026 Cohort

  • Chelsea Murray (she/her) - Pre-Business/Marketing
  • Eunice Ipina (she/they) - Secondary Education
  • Jaylon Weaver (he/him) - Human Development and Family Science