A Freshman Bonner Perspective
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 inspired a passion in me. Now that I’ve gained some friendships, I want to build other relationships. At KIPP, I want to help Gerardo, Ana, Leslie and Zaria become better writers, because that will make me a better writer, a better listener, a better communicator. That will also make them more successful students and give them some of the opportunities I was given. But talk is cheap (so now, you can hold me up to my commitments as per this post). Up until this point, I’ve only had to prepare for tutoring sessions and attend an ice cream social. Now, it’s time to deliver results. And the thrilling and terrifying part of being a Bonner is that those results affect human beings. Our biggest accountability partners are not our project leaders or directors, but our mentees, our recipients, our clients. And that, I’ve learned, is what separates Bonner from other service organizations. Most service organizations provide people with what they need, but Bonners provide people with what they need in ways they want.
Written by: Mason Malone
Edited by: Kaitlyn Palividas