Wilkes University

Bonner Community Partners

Bonner Community Partners

As a Community Partner, you’ll host a Bonner Leader as a student worker with a demonstrated passion for community service.

Your student will help you increase your capacity to serve a greater number of those in need, taking on progressively more complex projects during four years with your agency. 

While gaining a student in the role of a valued paraprofessional, you won’t need to spend additional money from your nonprofit budget. Bonner Leaders are paid through Wilkes using federal work-study funds.


To qualify as a Bonner Community Partner site, your organization must be a public or private agency incorporated as a nonprofit under state law and classified by the IRS as tax exempt.

The Bonner Leader’s work at your site must be considered service to the community. Service includes jobs designed to improve the quality of life, especially for low-income residents and people with disabilities.

Project Possibilities

Bonner Leaders will serve at their assigned site throughout their four years at Wilkes. Their assigned projects must increase in complexity during their time in the program, giving them the opportunity to learn and lead.

Possible project areas include, but are not limited to:

  • literacy and math tutoring;
  • education;
  • support services for students with disabilities;
  • welfare;
  • social services;
  • service opportunities for youth corps;
  • transportation;
  • housing;
  • safety;
  • crime control and prevention;
  • mentoring;
  • environment;
  • recreation;

As your student builds the skills to work more independently, these projects should include:

  • volunteer generation and management plan;
  • social media or publicity campaign materials;
  • development of a website;
  • capacity-building outcomes;
  • sustainability focus.

The work may also provide the opportunity to produce:

  • scholarly articles;
  • informational materials;
  • grant writing;
  • assisting with lobbying/petitioning local, state or national entities.

Partner Responsibilities

As a Bonner Community Partner, your organization will help develop the next generation of leaders with a passion for community service. Your responsibilities include:

Nonprofit Confirmation

Your organization must provide paperwork to confirm your nonprofit status because your

Bonner Leader will be paid for six to eight hours of work per week though Wilkes University using federal work-study funds.


Your organization agrees to provide an orientation program, which includes:

  • details about work hours, location and conditions;
  • briefing on organizational procedures, safety and standards of conduct;
  • explanation of requirements in terms of performance quality, quantity, methods and priorities;
  • information regarding on-site supervision, as well as necessary progressive and corrective training.


As a community partner, you’ll agree to schedule your student for six to eight hours per week of direct service at your location. Scheduling may include the fall and spring semesters, as well as summer break if your student is available, up to a maximum 270 hours per academic year.


The work performed by a Bonner Leader may not:
  • displace an employee;
  • involve the construction, operation or maintenance of a facility for sectarian instruction or religious worship;
  • involve any political party activity associated with a candidate’s election for public or party office.

To Become a Community Partner

If want to help develop community leaders with a fierce desire to change the world while providing more service to your clients, become a Bonner Community Partner.


Megan Boone Valkenburg
Civic Engagement Coordinator
Wilkes University