The flagship Bonner Leaders Program at UNC is part of a nationwide network of more than 80 colleges and universities that provide service-based scholarships and leverage federal community service work-study funds to support intensive undergraduate community service and social justice activities throughout students’ college careers. Each year, a diverse group of incoming first-year students are chosen through a competitive application process emphasizing service and leadership.

The sustained service program, housed in and staffed by the Campus Y, follows a four-year model designed to engage students in addressing community-identified needs. They initially work as direct-service volunteers, grow into project and site coordinators, and ultimately engage in public policy and community-based research.

The service requirement is significant – more than 250 hours per year – and is complemented by weekly meetings, leadership workshops, and capacity building seminars. It is a campus-wide, interdisciplinary initiative involving both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

[Video] Carolina’s Bonner Leaders Talk About Why They’re Inspired to Serve:

The Class of 2021 Bonner Leaders will work as afterschool tutors, youth mentors, community outreach liaisons and hunger relief volunteers in conjunction with community partners. These new students join 34 returning Bonner Leaders who are marking their second, third, and fourth year as Bonners working with these same communities, and are transitioning into roles with increased responsibility; as volunteer coordinators, coordinators of community outreach, oral history archivists, and innovators in launching programming to augment existing community services.

For more information check out our Bonner Annual Report or visit the Carolina Bonner Leaders Facebook page!

Or you can contact Campus Y Assistant Director and Bonner Leaders Program Director, Yalitza Ramos at