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The Bonner Leaders Program has fortified and diversified the culture of public service at UNC by leveraging federal work-study funds to support undergrads with high financial needs and strong commitments to service. Bonners enter our program as first-years and are challenged to serve at one local nonprofit for four years. This long-term commitment creates a deep partnership between students and the communities they serve, while allowing Bonners to grow personally and professionally.



Meet the Bonner class of 2018 and hear how their four-year experience has shaped their Carolina career and post-graduation goals. Watch now.
While many UNC students are hanging out in their dorms or catching up on homework, first-year Bonner Ellison Commodore is helping fight poverty in the Chapel Hill community with the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF). Read more.
In Chapel Hill and Carrboro more than 2,600 children live in food insecure homes. They often go hungry, eat less, or eat less nutritious food because they can’t afford to eat better. Nesreen Abu Khalaf (pictured above) and Tochi Okeke, two senior UNC Bonner Leaders, have worked more than one thousand hours supporting and serving these children; and this year, they’re extending their efforts into the summer months with tailor-made toolkits. Read more.


How do we ensure that the next generation of public service leaders and social entrepreneurs across North Carolina reflect the diversity of our state? In 2011, the Campus Y established the Bonner Leaders Program, which allows 50 undergraduates the opportunity to perform more than 1,000 hours of service at a local nonprofit and participate in 150 hours of leadership development over the span of their college careers. In return, they receive federal work-study stipends that are earmarked for community service by students from low-income backgrounds.

Gifts to the Bonner Leaders Program will help replace significant cuts in work-study funding that are necessary to retain Bonners in our program and help add critically-needed staff.

If you are interested in offering additional resources such as mentorship, hosting a summer intern or hosting a Bonner fundraising event in your community, please contact

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