The Bonner Foundation Model was featured in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future: A Call to Action and Report from The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement.
Check out this video recap!
Check out this blog post by Program Associate, Josh Blair! In this post, Josh explores the steps to recognizing your own privilege and working on being an ally.
My last week of the Fellowship, I am glad to say, ran full-speed until the end. On Tuesday, July 31st, I got to attend a roundtable discussion at DC Central Kitchen. Different nonprofits dealing with shelter, hunger, and homelessness issues were invited to come, share what their organizations did, and possibly collaborate on initiatives. I went with my NCH supervisor, Michael Stoops, with the intention of giving a presentation about the Homeless People Action Networks (HPAN) project. However, I ended up not giving a presentation but instead just listening and learning about everyone else’s organizations and about the issues on the local level. The discussion that day really gave me a new insight on how much more efficient and effective processes would be if more organizations collaborated and communicated with each other. DC Central Kitchen was an amazing host, and it seemed as though the people present were genuinely willing to join forces on their projects. I also had the chance to meet Robert Egger, the President and creator of DC Central Kitchen, which was just mind-blowing. DC Central Kitchen changed my life in such a significant way, and Robert Egger is a legend, especially among nonprofits, so meeting him was definitely one of the highlights of this internship.
For the rest of the week, I closed the HPAN project. I sent out emails to my contacts to let them know that I was leaving but that the project will be continued and is a long-term NCH initiative, wrote up a closing report and summary of accomplishments, and organized my HPAN documents so they would be available to the next intern. In addition, I finally rewrote the fact sheet for HIV/AIDS & Homelessness for the NCH website. I was relieved that I found good research and that I was able to do work that was somewhat healthcare-related at the NCH. Looking back, I might have been a little overambitious to take the task of rewriting the fact sheet on, since HPAN gained such momentum as the weeks went on, but I was determined to follow through with my promise and to give it my all. The other interns and I also made it our goal to splurge and eat at our favorite Dupont Circle spots one last time before we left, which included Alberto’s Pizza (slices the 4th the size of a large size pizza for $5) and V Falafel (delicious vegetarian falafel and of course, shawarma!). Tammie and I were also keeping up with the Olympics at home. My favorite sports to watch were probably swimming, diving, gymnastics, running, and volleyball. Go USA! I absolutely adored the opening ceremony that was created by Danny Boyle. It was just so quintessentially British and European, with the depiction of the Industrial Revolution and the homage to British literature, especially to Harry Potter! Seeing Kenneth Branagh being a boss, JK Rowling giving a speech, James Bond and Queen Elizabeth the II “jump” out of a helicopter, and an appearance from Mr. Bean made me so happy-the UK is so classy, as always.
On Wednesday August 1st, I got to host the Bonner training event at the NCH. I was fortunate enough to have one of the speakers from the NCH Speakers Bureau come and share her story with the other Bonner interns and answer questions afterwards. Our Executive Director, Neil Donovan, was also generous enough to speak for a few minutes about the mission of the NCH and to answer some questions. Hearing the speaker’s story sparked a good discussion among the Fellows, and we were able to grab dinner as a group after the training at a French bakery called Le Pain Quotidien. Our dinner was delicious, but unfortunately the dessert turned out to be disappointing. I wish the Fellows could have spent more time together outside of work. The bond that we share through our service as Bonners is really extraordinary, and it was always nice getting to vent with people who were going through similar, intense internship experiences. On Thursday, I got to do something that everyone should do while they are in DC: a cupcake run! There was an awesome cupcake shop called Crumbs Bake Shop not too far from Dupont Circle on L and 19th St, and I was able to go out for cupcakes with one of the other DC Fellows, Greyson Mann. Good times! My caramel apple cupcake was scrumptious.
On Friday, August 3rd, I said goodbye to everyone at the National Coalition for the Homeless office. It was so surreal. On the one hand, I was content with what I was able to accomplish with the HPAN project and my other work at the office. On the other hand, it was hard to believe how fast the past 8 weeks passed, and how many cool things I got to do and people I got to meet in such a short amount of time! That night, I had dinner with my Bonner mentor, Kristi, and one of her coworkers, which was so much fun. Keeping to our tradition of eating at happy hour, I got to try some yummy barbecue wings and catfish fingers at the Tap & Parlour on U St. One of the greatest things I learned over dinner with Kristi and her coworker (in a discussion that included but was not limited to punk music, Che Guevara, advocacy work, books, and movies) was to be passionate about what you do, and to live and have fun in the process. I hope I can come back to U St one day and see Kristi again-there are so many other eating spots to check out! I have yet to try Ethiopian or Thai food, so that will be my goal the next time I am in DC. Friday night when I got back to Tammie’s and Saturday morning were mostly consumed with packing, cleaning up the house, and spending time with Tammie. It was so weird clearing out the room and bathroom I was using, and to imagine that on Monday, I would be waking up in my own bed and not going to the NCH office. Being home now, I miss Tammie and I miss her dogs. Yet, when I said goodbye to DC for the summer, I knew that it would not be the end of doing advocacy work or of experiencing DC in general. I will be able to bring the skills I acquired and the knowledge I gained from this Fellowship back to my campus. Though working in grassroots advocacy is not the exact field I see myself pursuing with my career in nursing, I value the experience because it will make me more well-rounded, and will be useful if I need to tap into this kind of work again in the future. So for now, goodbye DC. It is one of the best places to be for working in grassroots advocacy, and hopefully when I return next time it will be with more savvy, and with Metro prices that are not too inflated. I’ve been blessed with some really great opportunities, and this Fellowship was an experience of a lifetime. I <3 DC!
Hi everyone, it’s Katherine. Now that I finished my internship in the Bonner Fellowship Program, I can say it was one of the biggest, most turbulent learning experiences I ever had. Even with what I include in this blog, so much happened during this internship, it’s insane, which is why I am splitting my last entries into 2 parts (again). The last 3 weeks at the National Coalition for the Homeless were certainly hectic. Starting Wednesday, July 18th, I got to attend the Bonner training event at DC Central Kitchen, which was a great experience. DC Central Kitchen was actually the first place where I got to do community service outside of school back in the summer of 2008. The four hours I spent there in 2008 changed my life. I loved how the organization stressed the importance of not wasting food (they gather unused or donated food from local restaurants, stores, etc. and use it to make meals for shelters), sustainability (they also reach out to farms for produce), and creating social change (they have a training program that helps people experiencing homelessness, people with addictions, ex-convicts, etc. to learn about the culinary arts and gain job and life skills). In addition, my eyes were opened to the issues of homelessness, and I knew that I wanted to continue working with people experiencing homelessness, though in what capacity or scale I was still unaware of at that point in time. Returning to DC Central Kitchen again and while working at the National Coalition for the Homeless was a dream come full-circle for me. On Wednesday, July 25th, the NCH hosted a public forum called “Can You Hear Us?” in the park across the street from our office, where 4 speakers from the NCH Speaker’s Bureau shared their experiences of homelessness with the audience. Each of the orators had a unique speaking style and story, and the forum ended with a strong message: education and awareness are the first steps to positive change, and in order for this change to happen, we need to get people to care about homelessness.
On July 26th, we had our end-point evaluations with the Bonner Foundation. I thought everyone did a great job with their presentations, and it was nice getting to hear what everyone’s internships and projects were like. It was wonderful getting to spend time with all of the Fellows together at the alumni reception, since it was so difficult to find social time together since we all had crazy schedules and were scattered throughout DC. I also got to meet Arianne Hoy and Bobby Hackett, the President of the Bonner Foundation, which was really cool. Being a Bonner and now a Bonner Fellow are so far among the most important roles in my life, and I am so thankful that I get to do meaningful service in college.
On Saturday, July 28th, I got to spend the day with one of my oldest friends, Carolina, in Alexandria, VA. She also had an internship in DC, and it was the first and only day we got to spend with one another while we were both in DC. Together, we saw The Dark Knight Rises (a glorious second round for me, still managed to cry), which was great because the first time I saw it was with my best friend Tammie, and my second time was with my best friend Carolina. There’s just something special about seeing a fantastic movie, especially one that is in a franchise, with friends. I love it. For the rest of the day we just hung out, and it was sad when we had to part ways. I’ve known Carolina since 6th grade, and now she goes to Notre Dame, so when we get to see each other it’s always rare but awesome. The next day, I got to spend some time with my dad and brother, who is staying down in VA with my dad until the end of the summer. I got to watch The Dark Knight Rises for the 3rd time with my brother, and it’s pathetic, but I cried for the 3rd time as well. Call me obsessed, but yes, I saw The Dark Knight Rises 3 times, and cried every time, and would see it again. It was so beautiful! Great characters, great story, excellent acting, I can’t say enough about it. I love that movies provide an escape, and being able to see this movie that I love with friends and family was a great way to unwind and an excuse to eat popcorn. To be continued…
Hey everyone! I created a wordle word cloud out of our blog posts this summer. I hope you enjoy looking at this visual representation of what we have been talking about most!
Bonner Love <3
As we enter the closing week of the Bonner Fellowship Program, we would like to ask Fellows about advice they would like to give to future Fellows.
- What is one thing you would like to share about working at your site?
- What is one thing you would like to share about being a Bonner Fellow in general?
- What is one word that describes your holistic summer experience?