The Siena Bonner Program

Bonners are undergraduate students who utilize their academic talents to lead community change through service. They help to build a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane through direct service, professional development and scholarly examination of injustice. Some of Siena College's partner organizations work with at-risk youth, people suffering from disability and addiction, immigrants, formerly incarcerated and other marginalized populations.

The Bonner program is a four-year commitment for a student at one site that aims to combine service with academics and career goals. Placements are developmental, moving students through increasing levels of experience and responsibility across the four years. This program is unique because students get the opportunity to focus on social justice issues locally, nationally and internationally. Siena College is the only higher education institution in New York with this program.


  • FIRST YEAR - students embark on a first-year service trip that brings them to Northern Maine and Canada. Students are exposed to rural poverty on this trip and learn about the challenges of poor rural communities.
  • SECOND YEAR - students engage in a second-year exchange where they attend a regional or national conference and are exposed to the National Bonner Network of more than 80 institutions in the United States as well as international partners.
  • THIRD YEAR - students explore poverty at an international site through Academic Community Engagement's five-week global internship program. Current sites include Carmen Pampa, Bolivia and Bangalor, India.
  • FOURTH YEAR - students complete a senior capstone where they culminate their four-year experience in a final thesis and presentation at the Siena College Academic Celebration.

Bonner students receive $13,550 over their four years in the Siena College Bonner Program. This amount is a combination of Segal AmeriCorps Educational Awards, Bonner institutional and federal work-study funds.


  • The Siena Bonner Program provides financial and training resources to students who want to serve, but would otherwise have to work out of financial necessity or who could not otherwise afford to go to college.
  • The Siena Bonner Program is recognized as a model for Bonner schools in the national network of more than 60 schools.