Bonner Scholars | Earlham College Skip to Content

Community Service Scholarships

Charles -davis -homepage -calloutBonner Scholars Program

Charles Davis ’18

His words are lively and personal and as he speaks the raucous room is hushed. Preteens and teens from the Boys & Girls Club listen closely as Charles Davis ’18 performs an original poem about his childhood. The silence continues for a beat when the poem ends. A girl runs her hands over her arms to warm away the goose bumps.

Davis knows the power of poetry. He’s tapped in.  Read More →

Changing the World through Service

Earlham College has a rich history of engaging students in service and social issues. The Bonner Scholars Program is a vehicle by which students continue that legacy and dedicate themselves not only to service but also to making connections between their community experiences and their academic pursuits. Earlham College is one of more than two dozen colleges and universities nation-wide honored to host a Bonner Scholars Program. Each year, 15 incoming first-year students are selected to participate in the four-year scholarship program.

The Bonner Scholars Program was created to assist students with high financial need and passion for community service to obtain a college education. The program provides them with an opportunity to engage in community service activities while in school. The Bonner Scholars program is designed to identify worthy and qualified students who need financial assistance, enable students to serve others, provide academic support and enrichment activities to students, and encourage students to earn their college degrees. We recognize that circumstances may have prevented some students from participating in community service so past service experience is not a requirement. Rather, students must possess a genuine desire to engage in community service and a willingness to devote the time and energy needed to be successful in the program.


  • Bonner Scholars will receive a total of $2500 during each academic year contingent upon successful completion of school-year community service requirements.
  • Bonner Scholars also participate in two summer service placements at nonprofit organizations of their choice anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. During each summer, Scholars receive up to $1000 for summer living expenses and an earnings stipend of $1500 upon completion of 280 hours of summer service.
  • Upon four years of successful completion of the Bonner Program, the Bonner Foundation awards $2000 toward student loan reduction or graduate school tuition.
  • In addition, Bonner Scholars will receive a financial aid package from Earlham College that meets the total verified financial need of the Bonner Scholar.


Cope _0144_edited -1_Katrina _Summer _2010

  • Bonner Scholars commit to complete an average of 10 hours of service a week (140 hours per semester) during the academic year. These hours are made up mainly of time spent serving at a community agency chosen by the Scholar from among dozens of possible service sites.
  • Bonner Scholars are also required to devote some of their hours to activities such as in-service workshops, training sessions, and retreats that address pertinent issues and teach valuable, transferable skills.
  • First year Bonner Scholars participate in a special orientation just prior to Earlham College's new student orientation and a weekly seminar during the fall semester. They subsequently participate in weekly Bonner meetings and activities which are designed to equip students to assume increasing levels of responsibility and leadership within their service.
  • Participation in the Bonner Scholars program is much more than simply completing the required number of service hours. Bonner Scholars commit to become part of a community and to strive to develop their expertise and leadership during their four years of participation in the program.
Tyrian Robertson
Student Plans Disaster Relief Nonprofit

Tyrian Robertson ’17 sees how the broader world is at work in her life and is inspired to use her skills and abilities to benefit others. After graduation, Robertson hopes to start a nonprofit that helps areas recover from natural disasters.

Adam Simon
Asteroid mining not so far off

Geology major Adam Simon ’15 says it’s not unreasonable to think that rare earth materials will be mined from asteroids in 20 years, and he wants to be part of that process.

Print Friendly and PDF