The Bonner Program: Making an Impact

The Bonner Leader Program has definitely made an impact on my life. It has brought me together with a diverse group of people who have become my “Bonner Family.” Working together as a team during our Service Saturdays and during our site rotations has shown me the different leadership styles that are in existence. I have observed how the different Bonner Leaders I work with express their thoughts and ideas. Also, I have observed how we all function as a group. Some people are more outspoken while others are quiet, but they still get their ideas across the table at a later time once they think everything through. I noticed this at our Service Saturdays when we were trying to figure out how we would accomplish our goals within a short amount of time. Being a psychology major, it was interesting to witness. Also, it is amazing to see how we are all growing not only as individuals, but as a family.

Moreover, serving the community of High Point has changed my perspective of service as a whole. Back home I knew that there were problems that needed to be resolved, but coming out here made me realize that there are a lot of issues that are far more serious that will take longer to resolve. One of the more prominent issues here is poverty. This is one of my passions because I know that times are rough for a lot of people. I have always been one to reach out a hand to those who want help and I know that I can be a resource to them, whether it is for advice or helping them write a resume and things of that nature. A particular service experience that lead me to recognize this communal issue was volunteering at the Free Dental Clinic at West End Ministries. I was able to talk with people from the High Point community and they opened up to me about their hardships. It truly opened my eyes. Because of this realization I have become more dedicated to making a change in this community; also, the skills I continue to develop here will help me to make a change in my community back home. I will be able to do this by utilizing the skills and knowledge gained here and applying them to the issues my hometown is facing.

I am truly blessed to be a Bonner Leader. I can only imagine how much I will grow as an individual by the end of my four years as an undergraduate through this program.

– Melanie


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