Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning

The Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning brings together the campus and the community and provides students with an opportunity to understand and articulate ways in which they can give back.

Each year, 60 Bonner Scholars at Guilford perform more than 24,000 hours of community service as part of their commitment to the program. One of the first Bonner Scholars programs in the country, we pride ourselves on having sustained commitments to our core partners in community groups and specific high-need neighborhoods.

While the Bonner Center serves as the administrative hub for our Bonner Scholars program, it serves a much wider and more integrated purpose for our campus. Primarily, the center connects students with service opportunities within our immediate community, across the country and around the world.

For example, our students have a meaningful relationship with the Church Under the Bridge program, where they reach out to Greensboro's homeless community, and every year new Bonner students take a trip to the Gullah Islands to help the citizens there address environmental challenges.

The Bonner Center offers:

  • assistance and resources for faculty members who wish to include service learning in their courses, sometimes providing assistance in getting grants, stipends and workshops for service learning course development
  • service-oriented internships or independent study courses for academic credit
  • alternative break service projects where students spend spring and/or fall break focused on a service project
  • non-credit service through ongoing campus groups or placement in service agencies off campus
  • forums and panels with community partners
  • extensive service learning library with general information, as well as discipline-specific literature

Serving Guilford County

Our annual Day of Service is a time that Guilfordians across campus come together to put our Core Values into practice.


During our annual Day of Service, Guilford College students, faculty, staff and alumni dedicate themselves to making the community around our campus a better place. Last year, more than 300 participants volunteered at dozens of sites with projects that focused on addressing food insecurity in Guilford County.

Bonner Scholars

Every semester, each Bonner Scholar completes 140 hours of service work, as well as 280 hours during each of two summers. Students selected as Bonner Scholars have demonstrated, through their application for admission process, an extraordinary commitment to and engagement with community service. Scholars are expected to demonstrate a high level of financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (Learn more about scholarships.)

Bonners write monthly reflections, helping them think deeply about their experiences and connect these experiences to their academic work. Bonners also attend monthly meetings that focus on service and community issues, as well as the productive accomplishments of their peers.

First-year students are invited to apply for a Bonner scholarship. Learn more, including deadlines and requirements, on the Scholarships and Grants page.

Ongoing Service Sites and Programs

More Than a Job

James Shields ’00, the Director of the Bonner Center, shares his joy for working with Guilford students.


James is passionate about working with Greensboro’s immigrant community and for using entertainment — including his gift for singing — to keep history alive.

Community Scholars

The Community Scholars program provides students with the opportunity to earn Federal Work-Study (FWS) awards by working with a partner in Guilford County. The purpose of the program is to encourage students receiving FWS to participate in community service activities and encourage a sense of social responsibility. During their service work, students learn more about their community, impact the lives of local residents and earn part of their financial aid award.

These jobs are paid positions. Both on-campus and off-campus jobs can qualify, however, on-campus jobs must involve a program, project or service that is provided to the general public. On-campus jobs that serve only the College community do not qualify.

Job categories that are considered community service include: health care, child care, literacy training, education/tutoring, welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development and community improvement, supporting educational and recreational activities, counseling, career counseling and support services to enrolled students with disabilities.

Community Scholars FAQ

Am I eligible to participate in the Community Scholars Work-Study Program?

If you have been awarded FWS as part of your financial package, you are eligible to participate.

What is the process for utilizing my award?

Bonner Center staff will approve your request to be a Community Scholar and help you find appropriate placement.

How do I find a work-study job?

You’re encouraged to serve at one of the Bonner Center’s committed sites or find an opportunity at the Volunteer Fair held the first week of school.

How are my work-study funds disbursed?

You can sign up for direct deposit of your monthly pay through human resources once your contract is signed.

Can I have more than one Work-Study job at a time?

Yes. More than two jobs at any given time isn’t recommended, however, so that you can maintain focus on your academics.

How many hours a week may I work?

This depends on your award. In order to make sure your money last through the academic year, you should stick with the suggested hours per week on your contract.

Can my award carry over from one year to another?

No. Remaining work-study awards do not carry over from one academic year to another.

What are the tax implications of having a work-study job?

Work-study wages are subject to the same federal, state and local income taxes as any other earned income.

Contact Us

Susan May

Susan May

Student Employment Coordinator

Audrey Mangili

Audrey Mangili

Bonner Scholars Coordinator

James Shields

James Shields

Director of Community Learning