Bonner Community Fellows Program

The Bonner Community Fellows Program at Brown aims to combine a student’s community engagement with their academic and career goals. Bonner Community Fellows are committed to working in a sustained, intentional and intensive way with a community partner that works to address issues in one of our five focus areas: Education, Healthcare, Environment, Economic Justice and the Arts. Together with community partners, Fellows will strive to build socially just communities where people have the resources they need to reach their full potential.

We support students of diverse economic and social backgrounds to become leaders through their community engagement; to do so we provide reflection and skill development opportunities, mentorship and advising and financial assistance for income-eligible students.

meet the Bonner Community Fellows Program Cohorts

Bonner Fellows Commit to:

  • Participate in the program for their four years at Brown
  • Attend a weekly workshop Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 8 pm during the academic year - these trainings include reflection workshops, skills-based trainings and invited guest speakers.
  • Participate in 6-8 hours of weekly, direct community service with a community partner agency/organization in Providence (examples include leading a weekly after school lesson for elementary school students, connecting families to healthcare resources at a children's hospital and coaching high school students in debate).
  • Participate in a weekly 2-hour study block during their first year in the program
  • Participate in our Pre-Season Programming from August 25 - August 29
  • Complete two “Engaged Summers” during their time at Brown - a 200 hour internship experience with a nonprofit organization or government agency that is aimed at meeting a community need.
  • Participate in a week-long service and learning trip to Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi in their sophomore year

Bonner Fellows who fulfill these commitments receive:

  • Structured mentorship and leadership skill-building in socially just, community-based work
  • Intensive mentoring and advising - Bonner fellows are assigned an academic adviser within the Swearer Center and a student peer adviser who has been involved with Swearer
  • Students with demonstrated financial need will also receive a yearly academic stipend for their participation in the Bonner Community Fellows Program (up to $2,000 per academic year)

The Bonner Experience

The Bonner Community Fellows program is structured to be:

  • Developmental - Students gain increasing levels of experience, responsibility and leadership across their four years with the Swearer Center
  • Multifaceted - Students participate in a range of leadership and professional development workshops that integrate their engaged learning with academic pursuits, social justice work and reflective practice
  • Collaborative - Students work together as a cohort-based team at Brown and are plugged into a national community of Bonner scholars at other campuses - the Bonner Community Fellows Program at Brown is part of a national network of Bonner programs across the country.
  • We seek to develop a diverse team of students with a broad range of interests and passions, united by their desire to engage in community work. For the 2017-2018 academic year, we will recruit 40 incoming first-years (Class of 2021) into our second cohort of Bonner Community Fellows. We are especially interested in students who are first-generation college students, from low-income households and/or have demonstrated a passion for community engagement.
  • 30 slots in the Bonner Program will be held for students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by Brown's Office of Financial Aid. These students are eligible for the $2,000 academic year stipend.
  • 10 slots in the Bonner Program will be held for students who don't have demonstrated financial need or have not applied for financial aid from the University. These students are ineligible for the $2,000 academic year stipend.

We are looking for incoming first-year students who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences, have demonstrated exceptional leadership, including in nontraditional ways, and have a passion for making positive social change in one of our five focus areas:  Education, Healthcare, Economic Justice, the Environment and the Arts.

First year students apply before arriving on campus; there is a rolling deadline for other applicants. 


Juan Carlos Carranza, Manager of Student Development, or (401) 863-5699