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Berea hosts Bonner Program's 20th anniversary

Through June 5 at Berea College, the Bonner Foundation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bonner Scholars Program.

20th anniversary of the Bonner Program (Graphic: the Bonner Network)

The program provides tuition scholarships based on students' high school service and requires continued service activities in college. Berea was selected as the site of the anniversary celebration in part because it is the home to the first Bonner Scholars Program in the U.S.

About 500 Bonner administrators and students, along with more than 25 college and university presidents have gathered on Bereaís campus for the event.

Highlights include a banquet and special entertainment, including an introduction to a regional favorite, contra dancing.

Following the anniversary celebration, the Bonner students and administrators will participate in the programís annual Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). During the SLI, participants will listen to plenary speakers, present and attend workshops and panels (on sustainability and leadership, as well as other topics), share best practices, and network. Other Berea Bonner Scholars will lead service trips for approximately 60 Bonners who choose to do one and a half days of service in Eagan, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky., or with the Berea Community Food Bank and City of Berea Parks and Recreation.

Over the last 20 years, the Bonner Scholars Program, along with the similar Bonner Leaders Program, has spread to over 80 colleges and universities around the country. As Bonner Scholars, students perform at least 10 hours of service. Berea's Bonner Scholars satisfy this requirement through their jobs in Berea Collegeís Labor Program and other service activities.

For more information, contact Meta Mendel-Reyes, director of Berea College Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS).

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