As a campus partner in the national Bonner Leaders Program, the Bonner Leaders Crew is deeply committed to civic engagement, working for social and environmental justice, and building relationships with the community around them. Bonner Leaders walk the talk of community engagement: working with scores of local and regional community partners, leading service trips, and attending conferences. Deeply committed to the founding principles of the Bonner Program — diversity, social justice, international perspective, spiritual exploration, civic engagement, and community building — our Bonner Leaders Crew is at the core of what it means to be a Warren Wilson student.

Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve

Students interested in applying to the Bonner Leaders Crew should have a demonstrated commitment to community engagement. Most of Bonner Leaders have a demonstrated financial need and first-generation students are especially encouraged to apply.

Interested in learning more about the crew? Please reach out at

Work on this crew has provided opportunities that I would never have had even in most entry level non-profit or business jobs. I have presented at four regional conferences, designed, developed, and lead programs and service learning courses. I have been involved with these things since the very start of my time here. My experience makes it less scary to do presentations and I am confident as a facilitator, leader, and mentor because I have done it!

Brian Wuertz ’18, Bonner Leader

The most rewarding thing is knowing that you made an impact on someone else’s life, whether that was one thing you said, one thing you did or an activity the group did together that will change how they see things from there on out. What I want is to be an example, so that [M.A.N.O.S. students] can look up to me and think: well if he did it, then so can I.

Melvis Madrigal ’17, Biochemistry Major and Bonner Leader

Warren Wilson’s Community Engagement Program was a deciding factor in my ultimate decision to attend this school. It wasn’t just that we had a service program, but rather the intentionality behind it. At the Center for Community Engagement, we stress that students consider their own identity, experiences, and privilege when they work with the community. We do not assume that we understand a community’s strengths and issues better than they do. We enter into partnerships with organizations and groups that are based on mutual goals, rather than individual motivations.

Emily Odgers ’17, Sociology and Anthropology and Bonner Leader

What You’ll Learn

You’ll spend years working alongside your peers with the mentorship of your supervisors.  Part of the experience of work at Warren Wilson is guided critical reflection, which helps ensure that you achieve both your own educational goals as well as our Common Learning Outcomes. These intentional learning outcomes distinguish our Work Program, giving it focus and relevancy that set it apart from a federal work-study or your average part-time job. 

Our Common Learning Outcomes:

  • Professionalism & Work Ethic: accountability, effective work habits, punctuality, dependability, time management, integrity, and commitment to the well-being of the community.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: working with available resources to creatively address issues and solve problems, and gaining confidence to make decisions.
  • Communication: the ability to convey and receive information effectively with intentionality, honesty, and confidence in both speech and writing.
  • Collaboration & Teamwork: actively collaborate with peers to achieve common goals, Distribute labor fairly, and hold each other accountable as committed members of a group.
  • Civic Identity: understanding your active influence within the community and how your decisions directly impact the work around you.

In addition to our Common Learning Outcomes, each crew in the Work Program identifies crew-specific goals for learning and performance. These are reviewed with you each semester. Your crew-specific learning goals outline skills and abilities your supervisor will teach you during the semester.