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.

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

Supervisor Spotlight

Diamond Slone Couch supervises the Bonner Leaders Crew. She supports their efforts in issue-area programming on campus, as well as community engagement off-campus through site placements, co-curricular programming, and workshops. Diamond most recently served as teaching assistant at Appalachian State University where she advised the undergraduate Leadership Studies minor, led the Black Graduate Student Association, and co-taught the course “Leadership and Social Change.” She has built curriculum and facilitated classes on cultural communication, both domestically and internationally, as a U.S. Army reservist for the last 7 years. With a love for cultivating wellness in student leadership and building sustainable partnerships, Diamond holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in systemic multicultural counseling.

Learning Outcomes

You’ll spend years working alongside your peers and mentored by 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 federal work study or your average part-time job. Specifically, our Common Learning Outcomes are:

  • Dependability: reliability, accountability, and the ability to successfully manage your time
  • Integrity: trustworthiness and respect for transparent honesty
  • Initiative: self-control, the ability to evaluate situations, and motivation to carry out responsibilities
  • Analytical Thinking: working with available resources to creatively address issues and solve problems
  • Communication: the ability to convey information effectively and build community with others
  • Collaboration: collaborate with peers to achieve common goals
  • Appreciation of the Value of All Work: an understanding of your place in the working world, and a respect for the dignity of all work

Learning and Performance Goals

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. The Learning and Performance Goals outline skills and abilities the supervisor will teach during the semester.