This week, Bonners had the opportunity to meet with Christopher A. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy at the weekly training and enrichment meeting.
As Assistant Secretary, Mr. Smith leads the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, including scientists and engineers working at eleven sites across the United States. In this capacity, he oversees the Department’s fossil energy’s research and development program (coal, oil and natural gas) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. He is also responsible for the U.S. Petroleum Reserves, the largest strategic petroleum stockpile in the world.
Prior to his Senate confirmation, Mr. Smith served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. During that tenure, he served as the Designated Federal Official for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon … Read More »
Four days after school started, Bonners kicked off the semester by dedicating a Service Saturday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. A total of 50 Bonners came out to serve at three locations: Forge for Families, New Hope Housing, and Rice University.
The first Bonner team started the day bright and early at Forge for Families, with a strong showing of 33 students. Bonners were given a warm welcome from the leadership over at the Forge, when they were shortly debriefed about what they will be doing. For the rest of the day, Bonners worked in teams to clean windows, paint walls, repair the playground, and weeding the garden.
Quinn Edgecomb, freshman, said that her favorite part of the day was playing with the kids. “We were repairing the playground and the kids came out to talk and play … Read More »
Dr. Seuss’s On Beyond Zebra!: that was the closing for the keynote speech of the 2015 Bonner Congress. This year’s speaker, KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg, didn’t offer trite motivational statements. Instead, he finished his address to college student leaders and set the focus for BonCon 2015 by challenging visiting representatives and University of Houston Bonners to go beyond the established methods and programs. He challenged them to go beyond the letter Z.
Every year, student leaders from every Bonner program in the nation gather at Bonner Congress to showcase their schools’ commitments to service as well as represent student voices in the network. This year, at the University of Houston, the 108 visiting representatives received feedback for their projects through Big Idea presentations and gained new ideas from the numerous workshops that were held.
“Our Bonners now know that any project … Read More »
A polished résumé, well-written essay and personalized recommendation letter help on a college application. But no matter the shine, the interest or individuality, one can’t hide numbers. When applying for college, two numbers matter: the SAT/ACT score and one of the largest predictors of that score, one’s family income. In 2014, a 398-point gap existed between students from the highest earning families and students from the lowest earning families.
According to its website, 75.5 percent of students in the Houston ISD are economically disadvantaged. Lobo Prep exists to separate that percentage from students’ test scores, specifically at César E. Chávez High School.
At the school, after the 3:30 p.m. bell rings, students file into a small lecture-hall-style classroom, grab their pizza and then chat with one another. Bonner mentors drop in and ask about their weeks.
I talked with one girl … Read More »
When I submitted my Bonner Leaders application in May, I didn’t understand how big a part of my life this organization would become. I still don’t fully realize it, but I can at least grasp it now. In the last few weeks, Bonner became my foundation, my home base.
I went from knowing no one to gaining a family. And really, that’s what this is. When the veteran Bonners met most of the freshmen at Honors Retreat, they cared about our success not only as a Bonner but as a student, as a listener, as a doer and as a human being. And since then, I’ve made a friend which grew to three, and now I find people I know all over campus and at Moody and in class because of this network.
But more importantly, these last few weeks … Read More »
When asked to write a paragraph about their study abroad trips to share with everyone, a few Bonners couldn’t even fit their experience into one paragraph. Here are the short & lengthy reflections of those who experienced something special this summer.
Chloé Stowell | F.E.E.T Scholarship (Europe) & AALIM (Morocco)
For the past month, I have been traveling throughout Europe and North Africa learning new languages, experiencing cultures, and meeting wonderful people. My summer began a day after finals on my flight to Amsterdam with my fellow traveler, Samantha. Samantha and I were awarded the Faber-Economon European Travel Scholarship for this summer. From Amsterdam, we traveled by train to Paris, Geneva, Venice, Florence, and Rome. Each city held new experiences and cultures that were always surprising. This trip was more of a vacation, but it taught me how to plan … Read More »
The Bonner Spring Break Trip was the perfect opportunity to put aside some of our time and pick up trash to help a well deserving, beautiful community. Shuffled into two houses, the Bonners truly became a family as we lived together for an entire weekend. Every Bonner found their identity in serving. Thankfully, there was never a dull moment as I was constantly being surprised by the trash I would find, whether it be an air mattress or a leaf blower, and that kept me on my toes. We carried each other, helped each other, served each other and loved each other. After spending an afternoon picking up bottle caps and cigarette butts, I learned that the small things really do matter as they ended up filling multiple bags weighing several pounds. On the boat ride home, we were hit … Read More »
“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
After months of planning and preparation, the MLK Day of Service took place on January 24, 2015. The event was a great success with over 450 volunteers coming together to serve Houston’s Third Ward community and beyond.
We often go about our lives without realizing that there are people living right in our community who are not as fortunate as we are. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., we wanted to dedicate a full day to serving this community. Grace Schwarz, a sophomore Bonner Leader and co-organizer of UH MLK Day of Service, conceived this idea and initiated planning for the project with her Bonner co-organizer Kaitlyn Palividas in 2013, while they were both freshmen. With the … Read More »
The University of Houston Bonner Recycling Team began in the Fall of 2013 with a goal of making the campus a greener place to live. This year the team has focused on improving recycling in the Cougar Village 1 residence hall. To accomplish this goal, we are holding events that raise awareness and investigate enthusiasm for recycling. The Halloween Recycling Party held on October 29th, 2014 was our first event. This date was chosen because Halloween would bring in a lot of extra recyclable materials from the many costumes and candy wrappers, as well from decorations from parties residents would be attending.
An early step in planning the event was attendance at a Hall Council meeting in Cougar Village 1 to get approval. The Council was enthusiastic, and even contributed funding. Combining these resources with others we received through the … Read More »
It’s easy to jump into service without thinking about what our motivations behind serving are. Giving back can become part of a routine, or something that is done because of a vague sense of obligation. Being in touch with the passions and intrinsic factors that guide our desire to give back to and help support other people plays a vital role in sustaining service as a life-long practice.
At our last Tuesday meeting, sophomore Bonner Chloe Stowell posed an important question: What are our personal motivations for service? Some kept their reasoning short, sweet, and to the point while others took a more specific angle on why we as Bonners do what we do.
James Russ: We all come from different ethnicities and backgrounds, and it’s our duty to serve the community around us.
Josh Monsivais: To learn and develop ourselves … Read More »