The Bonner Leaders - University of Houston
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Leading in Service

The Bonner Leaders are students dedicated to improving lives in the community. They respond to the economic, social, and cultural challenges affecting the quality of life in the city of Houston.  The Bonners are top academic performers who learn by engaging in the community.  Through their project-based service, Bonners learn critical skills, including leadership, teamwork, project planning, and time management.

UH Bonner is one of more than 70 Bonner schools across the country engaging students, faculty and staff, and community organizations to strengthen communities. Learn more about the Bonner network here.

The Bonner Commitment

Students admitted to the UH Bonner program are expected to undergo a rigorous learning and growth experience which consists of a "core" two-three years of service on a Bonner project (see below), leadership-development seminars and issue area learning, and eventual project executive leadership. This core experience is followed by a more flexible service-learning period in which students can design their own experience and engagement opportunities or choose from a set of pre-identified opportunities. These upperclassman years might include further project leadership, policy or issue area research, external internship, Bonner senior internship, or other opportunities. All Bonners are encouraged to complete a capstone project which integrates their identity, academic learning, and service-learning experience.

Bonner students serve on one of seven Bonner projects aimed at alleviating the effects of poverty in Houston in the areas of education and food insecurity. 

Student tutoring

Applications for the Bonner Leaders Program 2023-2024 cohort will open in February, 2023. We are not accepting applications at this time.

Bonner Student-Led Projects

  • AmplifyHER

    Public speaking tutoring and mentorship which aims to instill confidence in 7th and 8th grade girls at The FORGE for Families and to empower them to find their voices and advocate for themsleves in the classroom, at their future place of work, and over the course of their lives
  • Aspire

    SAT and college readiness tutoring and mentoring with high school juniors and seniors with partners Stephen F. Austin High School and Breakthrough Houston
  • Food Insecurity Team (FIT)

    Food distribution and nutrition education for community members with partners New Hope Housing, Riverside Methodist Church, Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams (LEAD), and the Houston Food Bank
  • ImpACT

    ACT and college readiness tutoring and mentoring with high school juniors and seniors with partners KIPP Sunnyside High School and KIPP Houston High School
  • Math Confidence Through Cubing Club (MC^3)

    Math tutoring and mentorship at Navarro Middle School. Students receive traditional math tutoring and learn how to master the Rubik's Cube as a way to build confidence and persistence through hard tasks. MC^3 mentors also conduct character building lessons and encourage behavioral improvements in participating students
  • Science Mentoring for a Richer Tomorrow (SMART)

    Science mentoring and tutoring with 8th grade students at partner school Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan.
  • Writing to Inspire Successful Education (WISE)

    Writing and reading tutoring with 4th and 5th graders with partner PSTEM Academy

Why Service Learning

Service-learning is a rewarding and transformative experience, and it can produce great impact in the community. Why do students choose to dedicate their time to collaborating with their community and learning about service-learning during their undergradaute career? Learn from students about their Bonner experience and their service-learning journies.

Students in circle at orientation


The mission of the Bonner Leaders Progam at the University of Houston is to create high-quality educational experiences for students, while simultaneously working to build a better Houston community.  We do this by focusing on the factors that perpetuate the cycle of poverty: food insecurity, educational achievement, and community health and nutritionWe believe that working with and through partners not only contributes to the community, but also enriches and enhances the student learning experience.
Bonner Student Mimi Beregen posing for a photo at a FIT event.


2022 - NEW Feature!

"According to the Houston Food Bank, food insecurity affects approximately one million people in southeast Texas. This number is startling to say the least, but the efforts of University of Houston students are making a difference in feeding many Third Ward families.

UH’s Bonner Leaders have long contributed to community causes, and one of its signature initiatives is its Food Insecurity Team (FIT)."

Read the full story here...



"The coronavirus pandemic has thrown much of everyday life into upheaval, but the Bonner Leaders program in the Honors College has not stood still. In fact, 85 students in the Bonner program have been actively involved in civic engagement, consistently devoting 5-10 hours a week to service work centered on issues such as food insecurity and educational inequality to improve the lives within the Houston community."

Read the full story here...

students at beach cleanup

Bonner Blog - Find Out What the Bonners are Doing and Learning About

Tune into the Bonner Blog to find out what Bonners have to say about their service-learning experience and their undergraduate journey. In addition, you can learn more about our community partners' work, as well as what our alumni are doing now.

Read the Blog

Bonner HFB

Be Part of the Change

Be A Bonner

The Bonner Leaders program welcomes incoming Honors freshmen* to apply to the program.  Interested students need only fill out this application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified once their application has been reviewed. 

Serve with Bonner

Service is not exclusive to Bonners. We invite all students interested in performing service in the community and fighting poverty to join us. If you are interested in getting engaged with service in Honors, please fill out this Honors Service Interest Form and you will be contacted by a member of the Bonner leadership team.   


*Note: Bonner is currently only accepting applications from incoming freshmen and rising sophomores at this time. There are limited available spots for rising sophomores.

Have Questions? Contact us!                                   


Trinity Rinear
Director, Bonner Leaders Program

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