Bonner Leader Scholarship Program

You are a Justice Seeker, Community Collaborator, Changemaker

  • 4-year community engagement and service scholarship ensures you won't pay more than 50% of Naz tuition
  • Plus paid hours weekly, doing changemaking work with partners
  • Professional development, training, and mentoring
  • Choose your focus
  • 15 incoming students per year
  • Opportunities to network with Bonner Leaders from other universities and colleges
  • Become a part of a community creating a more just, healthy, and equitable future
  • Nazareth has the only Bonner Leader program in the Rochester region

Nazareth’s four-year service and community engaged learning undergraduate scholarship program is offered in collaboration with the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.


Your Experience

Use your academic talents, life experiences, and passion for making a difference to contribute toward community change — to create a more just and equitable world — while developing your leadership and changemaking skills.

Bonner Leaders have the opportunity to experience:

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Community Building

Take several common courses as a Bonner Leader cohort. Attend weekly meetings as class-year cohorts, site-based teams, and as a full Bonner Leader team. Build communities of service on your floor, in your residence halls, classes, among friends, and in clubs and organizations.

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International Perspective

Experience at least one international trip in your tenure at Naz, spending time getting to know a community abroad.

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Civic Engagement

Be an active participant in the democratic processes of your community. Sophomore year, engage in policy research and develop a policy issue brief. Learn and serve through your paid changemaking role with a partner organization.

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Social Justice

Pursue the root causes of poverty in service sites and academic coursework, and seek to address those root causes in and through social change projects.

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Serve in urban, rural, and/or international communities with people from various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. Incorporate diversity and your community experiences into your academic coursework and weekly Bonner trainings. Bonner Leaders place a focus on being allies and advocates, educating themselves about social justice issues.

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Spiritual Perspective

Explore the spiritual dimension of service and partnership.

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Choose Your Focus

Placements are developmental, moving you through increasing levels of experience and responsibility across your four years. Over time, customize your experiences by working on specific community challenges and focus areas, such as:

  • Anti-poverty initiatives (hunger and food insecurity, housing)
  • Equitable education (access to quality schools, instruction and opportunities)
  • Health and wellness (access to services, public health initiatives)
  • Equal rights (addressing discrimination, legal justice, public safety, voter education and access, refugee resettlement)
  • Climate action (mitigate climate change and its impacts)
  • And more


Financial Support

As a Bonner Leader, you will not pay more than 50% of Nazareth’s tuition. Your support includes:

  • $1,500 scholarship for each year of the four years you are in the program (total: $6,000 over 4 years).
  • Work-study or campus-funded employment in the community.
    • Bonners eligible for Federal College Work Study receive $3,000 each year ($12,000 over four years).
    • Students not eligible for Work Study receive $500 each year ($2,000 over four years) from institutional funds.
    • Bonners complete time cards and receive direct deposit or paychecks bi-weekly.

Grow Personally and Professionally

  • Guidance and support from Nazareth community members
  • Collaborations with our community of changemakers
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Make close friends in college, many who have similar values and interests


Year 1

  • Exploring identity and place
  • Moving from service to solutions

Year 2

  • Leading groups
  • Knowing your issue

Year 3

  • Managing projects
  • Building capacity and organizations

Year 4

  • Preparing for civically engaged lives
  • Leaving a legacy

How to Apply

Application Process

  1. Apply to Nazareth first.
  2. Get accepted.
  3. Nazareth’s Bonner Leader Scholarship Program application for 2024-25 is now closed. Applications for 2025-2026 will be accepted starting in November 2024. 


  • Participate in the program for your four years at Nazareth.
  • Participate in a community-engaged service placement and weekly learning community sessions for 10 hours a week, a total of 300 hours each year.
  • During your first year, participate in a Bonner-exclusive Academic and College Success course.
  • Participate in one community-engaged summer internship/service experience (5-8 weeks, ranging from 15-24 hours per week, for a total of about 120 hours).
  • Remain in good academic standing.
  • Reflect, learn, and grow as you engage with different communities and peers.

Student profiles: Current Bonner Leaders »