Bonner Development

Bonner Development

September 12, 2018 Reflections from Changemakers 62

Above you will find the Five E’s, which demonstrate the Bonner Developmental model, and a brief explanation of each. Please take some time to look over them and reflect on where you have been and where are you going. Please keep in mind that each E is not necessarily bound to a class year (i.e. a Sophomore and a Junior could both be in the Example stage). As you reflect please answer at least three of the following questions:

  1. What “E” do you feel best embodies your current stage in Bonner and why?
  2. How has your Expectation stage compared to your current “E” and the realities of Bonner?
  3. Do you feel like you are ahead or behind on your “E’s” if so, why?
  4. Is there a specific event that was a catalyst for you moving up an “E?”
  5. How have you seen other Bonners embody the “E’s?”

62 Responses

  1. Samantha Gisleson says:

    I feel that Exploration is the “E” that best embodies my current stage in Bonner because I am no longer just preparing for the Bonner program, but instead I am now exploring and getting to know my service site and all that the Bonner program has to offer. My Expectation stage has been followed by excitement and comfort as I have transitioned to my Exploration stage. I am excited for what is to come both in the overall Bonner program and at my specific service site (Capital Roots). I am comforted by the love and inclusiveness of the Bonner family, and because my first few weeks as a Bonner have assured me that this program was the right choice for me. As I get to know my fellow Bonners, I have seen many of them embodying their Example stage by stepping up and being leaders both within the Bonner program overall and at their specific service sites. I look forward to the day that I too take on these roles to help younger Bonners the way that the upperclassmen Bonners have helped me!

  2. Andrew Tessman says:

    I believe that my current E is a mixture of both exploration and example. I am at the stage where I feel comfortable in my own work to be helping out whenever and however I can, while also continuing to explore and learn on my own.
    I feel like I am right around where it wants me to be come my Junior year.
    I feel like there isn’t really such a thing as ahead or behind on these because it isn’t just a hierarchy. What I mean by this is that you could be at Expertise in your service, while still Exploring numerous things you could be interested in
    I feel like I have just moving up with experience and time, nothing special really.

    Andrew

  3. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    I feel that I am currently in the Experience category. I have become comfortable at Unity House and have an overall understanding of their mission. Throughout freshman year, I was able to tackle projects within the development department as well as in the food security area, allowing me to experience some of the many services Unity House offers. This year, I hope to branch out even more and gain some experience within different departments, furthering my understanding of the role I can play to help serve the community. My expectation stage is totally different compared to my current “E” stage. Coming into the program I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but now being a sophomore I’m able to better grasp the purpose of Bonner. It has allowed me to grow professionally, personally, socially, and academically. I don’t really feel as if I am ahead or behind on my “E” development. I am where I am and therefore I can only focus on moving forward. I think that everyone’s journey is different, so I cannot compare myself to others who may progress differently than myself. Overall, Bonner has been great so far and I’m excited to see where it takes me over these next few years!

    B-Love,
    Alexis

    • Gregory Winkelstern says:

      I’m upset that I wasn’t able to work with you at the Unity House this year like planned. I know you hold yourself to high expectations through your work. I can only imagine the quality work you provide!

  4. Monique Lawrence says:

    I am currently between Example and Expertise on the scale. While I am able to complete my capstone based on the rate of turnover of the teachers at Green Tech as well as figure out why some teachers are able to make better connections with the students than others, this is also still my second year at my site so I am still making strong connections with the staff and going into the background of how the school operates and runs throughout the day and school year as things change a lot in as short as a day or hour. My current E is so different from my expectation stage because I came into the program having a basic idea of what I committed to but I know that each person’s experience with the program is going to differ based on their service sites and passions. I am right where I should be due to the recent changes in my passion for education and post grad goals. The event that moved me up on the scale was being able to join executive boards on clubs and was able to be part of the founding students for the Upstanders program on campus. I have seen a lot of people in my class as well as the juniors be able to come on campus and hit the ground running when it came to planning events and creating new programs both on campus and at their service site.

  5. Amelia Butler says:

    At this point in my Bonner career, I find myself in the Example stage of the of the Bonner Developmental Model. I feel that this stage describes my current position because I find myself taking on more responsibility and commitment as a Bonner than I have in the past. As a first-year Bonner in the Expectations stage, I was uncertain and confused about what my role as a Siena College Bonner would actually be. This is very different from where I find myself now. Now, I find myself acting as a mentor to students, much like I was when I began my journey as a Bonner. At this point, I do not feel behind or ahead. My personal belief is that we each go through our journeys at a different pace, and that is totally and completely okay. I think I really felt like I was in the Example stage when I became the Site Team Leader at Capital Roots. As Site Team Leader, I feel a sense of responsibility and increased importance in my work at Capital Roots, and I am extremely excited to see what this year will bring for the seven of us. I think, as someone who truly wants to grow as a Bonner and embody the 5 Es, it is important to see other Bonners do the same. I have been able to watch classes of Bonners before me show me how to be a good role model, friend, and Siena Saint. Without them, I would not be close to the person I am today.
    B-love always,
    Amelia

  6. Gregory Winkelstern says:

    As an incoming first year student to Siena College and to Bonner, I began at the Expectation stage. My expectations for the Bonner Program were actually quite high after my life changing experiences with Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) organization, and I am so glad to say that my expectations were met and exceeded. Bonner seems like the perfect step up from HOBY that I needed in order to continue growing. I definitely feel as though I have encompassed the Exploration stage already and I think I will continue to do so at least for the first semester. I have been able to do a day of community service with the Boys and Girls Club of Troy and participate in multiple elective blocks during Summer Gear Up that provided me with a great taste of what there is I can do and also what I need to keep in mind while I do so. This stage is so crucial to go through in order to eventually hone in one topic and be knowledgeable enough to be successful. Even though I have only been on campus for a handful of weeks, I am striving to become an example to those around me. Whether you’re a first year student or not, people are always watching and I always hold that close to my heart and work hard at making a good role model. The upperclassmen in Bonner have done an outstanding job of doing this for myself and the rest of the freshmen on campus.

  7. Marlie says:

    I feel like I am in the example stage in Bonner. Although I am not in my third year, I think that with this semester especially, I have significantly expanded my role at my site and have used this position to communicate with surrounding schools. As compared to the expectation stage, I was not expecting what I have done in Bonner. When I entered the program, I expected to be playing with the children every week and had no desire at all to be in the office and do policy work. However, this expectation was far from true as I focus on communicating with other schools and expanding our site’s safety protocol. If you asked me at the beginning of last year whether I was ahead or behind, I would have said I felt behind. This year, I feel like I am ahead on my “E’s” because of the advancements this semester. I did not expect to be working on the safety protocol for Castle Island and definitely did not think I would be touring other schools to get ideas.

    B-love,
    Marlie

    • Michael Averill says:

      From what I’ve seen at Castle Island, I would definitely agree that you’re at the Example stage. Your experience, leadership, and community outreach initiatives have definitely put you ahead of the E’s!

    • kayla ginger sweet says:

      Marlie you’ve really showed your strengths at Castle Island and you have such a great team! Keep it up!

  8. Nicole Alex says:

    As someone who has not been a part of the Bonner program since freshman year, I certainly can’t identify with most of these stages, though the current state of my project as a Dake Fellow closely relates to the fifth stage, Expertise. This year, I will be completing a collaborative research project with Unity House on the effectiveness of creative arts therapy for domestic violence survivors, which intersects not only with the needs of the community but also with my interests in Psychology. I believe the catalyst for my advancement from Example to Expertise occurred this summer, when I finally able to take on a more independent role at Unity House and begin leading my own art groups, an integral part of my study this semester. Also, because I already have an established relationship with my community partner and an IRB-approved project, I would argue that I’m ahead in my “E’s,” though I undoubtedly have a long way to go before I complete this project.

  9. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    I believe the “E” that best embodies my current stage in Bonner is Exploration. As a first year Bonner, I am adjusting to the program as a whole while also exploring all the great opportunities the program has to offer. In these past few weeks I have participated in many activities as a Bonner that really shed light on what being a Bonner really means. I believe the one event that was a catalyst for moving me from the Expectation section to the Exploration section was during Summer Gear Up when we visited non-profits. From my short visit to the drop-off center, I gained a better understanding of why I am volunteering. The upperclassmen in Bonner are truly inspirations. They not only push themselves to be better people overall, but they push each other. Their leadership skills are admirable and their hard work and dedication to the Bonner program is something that I will always strive for.

  10. Kate Callery says:

    I would say that I the “e” I see myself in is the experience. Even though with a new site I’m somewhat in the exploration stage, I think the skills I’ve developed from my past service has translated well into my second year. I think I am in experience because I have a grasp of what I need to be doing and what personal strength I am able to bring to my work. Having been in Bonner for a year, I’ve developed a greater understanding of the program as well as how I fit into the program. This is probably the biggest difference between the expectation and experience stage. Coming into the Bonner program I knew what the program was but I didn’t know how I would change as a person within the program. In some way, the “E” chart scares every time because it makes me worried about the stage I am in. However, the chart is showing growth and I really do feel like I’ve been able to grow in Bonner and being at Siena. Therefore, I do think there are more “e” to obtain but I think it will come with time. I’m excited to see what “e” I’ll be in next year!

  11. Grace Harris says:

    I am excited to say that I can confidently place myself in the example category. I have taken a leadership role in my site and I am ready to help the underclassmen at Girl Scouts be successful by leading by example. I think all the issues that I have faced with Girl Scouts in the past has really pushed me to grow and step it up at my site and has allowed me to be in the example stage. I am super proud of my fellow juniors and have been amazing by what they have accomplished in the last three years at Siena. I am especially proud of my fellow site team leader Meg. I have had my ups and downs with Bonner but I can say Bonner has given me more then I have ever expected. I have not only built professional skills but have also made amazing personal connections.

  12. Jamie del Rosario says:

    I am currently in the “E” stage of Example in my time as a Bonner. I have already explored and had my fair share of experiences, although you can never have too many. As a Program Associate I have taken a leadership program within the program, and has superseded my expectations with new and challenging responsibilities. This was definitely the catalyst going into my junior year. I think I am in just the right place in my E stages, and am excited to see how my fellow juniors have different experiences than my own.

  13. Tristan Hunzinger says:

    I feel that the “E” that best represents my current state is “Exploration.” After learning and experiencing more about the program through Summer Gear Up and having visited and served at my site-Green Tech-several times now, I think that I have shifted from the expectation stage to the exploration stage. After starting service a week and a half late, it could have been very easy to fall behind in the “E’s.” However, the advisors at my site welcomed me with open arms and have given me plenty of work to do from the time I arrived. I am definitely more comfortable here at Green Tech than I would have guessed I’d be at this point, and I think that sense of comfort, coupled with the work I have been doing, has accelerated my development in this program. So far, all the upperclassmen have been great role-models and are definitely exhibiting “Example” stage experience. I’m looking forward to the time I can serve as an example the way they have!

    • Kiara Woodward says:

      I am happy that you have adjusted so well to Green Tech! You are an amazing addition to the team. Keep up the great work!

  14. Danielle Dreyer says:

    I feel that the “E” that I fit in most with is Exploration. I am just passed the Expectation stage, especially after experiencing Summer Gear Up, and I am finally getting more involved at my site and learning more about it. Now that I got a chance to learn about both Bonner and my site, I feel that I am definitely passed that stage and can maybe help people get passed it as well by teaching them what I now know. The people at Capital Roots also helped me get passed the first ‘E’ by being so welcoming and helpful, and showing me everything there is to know at the site. My first day, they had me sit down and read articles, review previous Bonner’s projects, and go through their website to ensure that I would have enough knowledge on Capital Roots to thoroughly execute and complete each project- and this really helped me transition from “Expectation” to “Exploration”. The Bonners that are at higher levels of E’s than I am have also really been helpful by leading by example and being so welcoming and supportive. I see a lot of them embodying the “Example” and “Expertise” stages, and passing down what they know to me and the other underclassmen. Their example makes me look forward to getting to do that someday as well!

  15. Maddie Kousoulas says:

    Currently, although I did not start service, I feel I am in the Exploration stage. I was able to visit my site and build curriculum as well as discuss what is expected of my service. I would say that me moving from Expectation to Exploration really occurred when I went to Troy School 2 and talked with our supervisor. We took a tour of the school and talked about each kid that we are expected to see. I really can’t wait to get to work with these kids. My site team leaders (Grace and Meg) have been really helpful in explaining how service will work, what we are expected to do, and giving us specific examples of situations in the school. I really hope we start service soon and I am really excited to work with the school.

  16. Dana Wakeman says:

    Starting my 3rd semester here at Siena, I am in the Experience stage because I am continuing to learn about my site and the different resources available. In particular, I am working more with the case manager, so I am experiencing more of what that has to offer. This stage is drastically different than my Expectation stage because initially, I had no idea what to expect from Bonner and my site. Also, I feel much more comfortable at my site than I did at the beginning of last year. I think I am right where I am suppose to be on my “E’s” because I am learning more in depth about a new task. However, there was not a specific catalyst for my moving up an E, but rather I just became more comfortable and confident over time last year. Finally, there are so many other Bonners who embody the “E’s” and they have always been supportive and helpful when needed.

    • Isabella Barone says:

      I just wanted to let you know I think of you as an Example as for how to proceed at Mercy House and that you’re a huge inspiration. You’ve helped make me feel so comfortable there, and I really appreciate your guidance! I’m happy that you’re comfortable at Mercy House and that you are developing your own focus there. I can’t wait to see you go up through the E’s!

  17. Emma Henderschedt says:

    I am feel as though I am in a transitional phase between Example and Expertise. I have been at the Albany DA’s Office for my entire career at Siena College and have a really great understanding of the criminal justice system and the role of the victim in these cases, however this system is so complex that I still learn more every day I am at my site. I am also in the process of trying to pull together what I know and what I don’t already know to develop my capstone which is proving to be more difficult than I thought, simply because of the vulnerability of the population I serve alongside.
    I also feel that in classroom conversations, Bonner meetings, and other trainings that I am a part of, I am more apt to engage in conversations becoming a leader in discussions of social justice. I also find that I seek out these conversations now more than ever.
    I remember being so overwhelmed in the expectation phase as a freshman. Yet, as daunting as my site and Bonner seemed I was inspired by those around me who had been growing in their service over the years. It has truly been the efforts of past Bonners that have inspired me. I think my own growth over the last four years has been in response to many events. Being able to move within the office of the District Attorneys has been so transformational, my pre-law classes and all that they have taught me about the criminal justice system, my social work major, my experience in Bolivia, and my semester abroad have all shaped how I see my future, how I see people, and how I see service.

  18. Abby Hoekman says:

    I feel the Experience category best describes where I currently am in Bonner and at my service site. I am at a point where I am more knowledgeable about the missions and expectations at Unity House. In my first year, I experienced the development office and Restyle thrift store on site. This year, I am able to experience more of Unity House through a deeper understanding of the developments and grants operations and hope to learn more about other departments such as the PROS program, which aids people with mental illness who lack resources they need. Additionally, I hope to learn more about the Human Resource department at Unity House and learn more about the managerial operations of a nonprofit. My expectation of Bonner was entirely different from my current experience. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Even now, a full year and month into the program sometimes I still find new expectations being formed and completely shattered as I progress as a Bonner and student at Siena. I like exactly where I am in Bonner right now. Although there are so many more experiences to be had along the way, I know the ones I have had thus far have shaped me into a better person and that any experience to come will be worthwhile, no matter how far it may stray from my expectations. I believe the natural progression of time has been the biggest catalyst in my changing of “E’s” and have found that it’s not a process that can be rushed or manipulated, but must be allowed to occur in it’s own time.

  19. Kiara Woodward says:

    I am in at the Example stage in my “E’s” but I feel like I will never leave the Exploration stage. As things evolve within the program and at my site I am always looking to adjust to new roles. This is something that I look at as an extreme positive. I am able to take on new responsibilities as time passes and gain experience in different areas.
    My expectations of the Bonner program feel so far removed from what this program is. I remember during my interview for the program I put a lot of emphasis on wanting to be involved with communities beyond Siena’s campus. Little did I know that I would build that and so much more. The relationships I have built and experiences I have had as a result of joining this program is something that me a year in the past would not have grasped. But I was also spooked. I questioned if I had what it takes to balance the program and classes. I think we all go through the stage where we doubt our abilities. It became evident as time passed that Bonner has an amazing support system if you let people help you. If anyone reading this feels like they need a little extra support reach out! We’re all here for you.
    I am watching all the freshman go through the Exploration stage. Everyone is finding their niche at their site and learning how to balance Bonner commitments with classes, clubs, and a social life. Bonner is close knit group to walk into so adjusting to personalities and the group dynamic is a common thing to go through. I can definitely relate to the adjustment!

    B-love always,
    Kiara

  20. Justin says:

    I feel like the Expert “E” best embodies my current stage as a Bonner because after all 3 years I final get to take what I have learned and apply it to a new program that I am developing. I feel like the success or failure of this program will showcase if I am behind in an “E” or not. Watching Ivory, Taylor, Megan, and Kayla run Summer Gear successful to me showed that they embodies a lot of the “E’s” Bonner has.

  21. Michael Averill says:

    I believe that I am currently in the Exploration “E”. After having an incredible experience at Summer Gear Up and start at my service sight, I feel like I am now getting comfortable with my schedule and taking on more responsibilities at Castle Island. In my Expectation phase, I was thinking that I’d be in the classroom a lot simply helping the students with their work and watching over them. However, I am doing much more in my first weeks than I would have thought possible. In my exploration stage, I am witnessing how a nonprofit works and the resources necessary for a private school to operate every single day. I have already enjoyed working on advertisement campaigns and I will continue to help in other ways as I keep exploring. Two sophomores that I’ve seen embody the “E” of Example are Marlie and Harriet. Since there are no upperclassmen at our site this semester, both Marlie and Harriet have stepped up to set an example for me at our developing service site.

  22. Alyssa Lofaro says:

    I currently feel that I am between the Example and Expertise stages in my Bonner Service. It is crazy to me that it is my last year a part of this program, that being said I am trying to enjoy and take in everything. I want to be able to leave the future Bonners tools and tricks that I found useful throughout my time as a Bonner. I also still want to be able to grow and learn throughout this year, that is why I still feel like I have room for improvement!

    I still remember my interview like it was yesterday. It was snowing, Brittney gave me a tour and Jasmine and Kelly interviewed me along with April. I remember telling my parents that I could see myself at Siena and apart of this program. I do not think anything can prepare you for what Bonner really is until you get to Siena, even though we go through the “requirements” in the interview. There is so much more to Bonner than just the requirements.

    I think I am where I should be with my E’s, and working towards expertise by the end of my senior year.

    I honestly think both of my abroad experiences really helped me with moving from one E to the next. My study abroad was more about personal growth for myself and being away from Siena for a semester really helped me with this. My GSI experience was more about growth in my service and be able to handle difficult situations. I learned so much from both of these experiences and I am so grateful for that.

    I think that I seen a lot of Bonner going through there E’s. I think that Andraya however stands out to me as transitioning into the PA role. She has been setting a great example for Bonners.

  23. shaylaencarnacion says:

    The “E” that best embodies my current stage in Bonner is both Example and Expertise. Example because I believe that I’ve been able to expand my service outside of my site – internationally and locally. Also, Expertise because it is my last year and I feel like I’ve experienced Bonner in many different ways and still continue to do so. Being that I was the first Bonner at my site and now the first one to leave after graduation, I do think I’ve embodied Catholic Charities in all ways and have continued to learn more and advocate for them.

    My Expectation stage was completely different from the Example and Expertise that I am right now. I say this because my expectations for Bonner were 1) completely wrong and 2) not even a hint of the amazing opportunities that I received through this program. Before coming for SGU and starting my college career, I thought that Bonner would simply be just volunteering for 8-10 hours at random sites. I did not understand the impact that this would have on me and the community that I serve. I never noticed, until I started, that Bonner was meant to leave ever-lasting and ever-changing impacts on the community and our sites.

    The specific event that was a catalyst for me moving up in my “E” was definitely West Virginia and my fall semester of Junior year. West Virginia completely took me out of my comfort zone and it was a huge push for one of the best papers I ever wrote – Domestic Violence in Appalachia. I hold that experience and the research I did close to my heart because it changed many perspectives I had already formulated. In addition, my fall semester of Junior year I begun to question Bonner and my position in this program. However, because of my comfort level I was able to reach out to my mentors in this program and explain to them my position – doing this helped me push past that stage and be grateful for this program that has completely changed my college years to something meaningful and different.

    Thank you to all of the Bonners who have been a part of my college experience and to all of the mentors and friends at the ACE office who continue to push me and guide me.

    B-Love,
    Shayla

  24. Shelby says:

    Being a First Year Bonner I feel that Exploration is the “E” I relate to the most, because I’ve done community service before but not like this and I am truly excited. I know my first year will be mostly trying to get a feel for things and figuring out my role here at Capital Roots. I am going to be navigating my way through Capital Roots to see where I can make the most impact.
    Being a Bonner has it’s own built in expectations, and I know all of us meet or surpass those expectations because that is just who we are as Bonner’s. For me I know I will be trying to meet my own expectations along with Bonner’s. My exploration through my first year comes with expectations to figure out my role at Capital Roots, and to become more knowledgeable on their organization as a whole.
    I have watched other Bonner’s embody the other E’s like experience, example, and expertise. In our weekly Bonner meetings on Wednesdays and throughout campus. They are excited to teach and help out the new Bonner’s. They make us feel like we apart of this large and wonderful family. I hope to be as knowledgeable and helpful as they are by the time I am a Senior here at Siena.

    Shelby

  25. Hayley Pijanowski says:

    As I am getting settled into my junior year at Siena, I am realizing that I am now in the example stage of Bonner. I have briefly touched upon this level before as an anchor and a mentor for others in the past but I am now noticing the ‘example’ stage throughout my entire life at Siena. I am an example by being site team leader, I notice it in my classes with younger students, and overall just being on campus and interacting with others. By taking the lead by example, I am attempting to have a positive impact on others around me. I still want to explore different parts of TRIP and the Siena community, which just goes to show that we are always growing and changing.

  26. Andraya Perez says:

    This year I feel like i have two different E’s. At the BGCA I feel like I am an example. I only go once a week, but I feel like I am a source that the underclassman to discover what programs would be a good fit for them to do at BGCA . As a PA though I feel like I am feel like I am in the experience state. I am still learning and exploring my different tasks and roles as a PA. It is a weird feeling being split between two different E’s as a Bonner this year, but I am loving both my service sites this year! I feel like Bonner does a great job of coming you accountability and also is a great place to grow as a student and professional; the E’s give us Bonner a great structure to follow and keep ourselves accountable.

  27. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    An “E” that represents me is experience because it is my second year in Bonner and college and I felt that I have gained some experience. I feel though that I am still learning new things, but at the same time expanding on the things from freshmen year. I believe that Sophomore year is going to be about really finding myself in what I want to do in a career and by doing that is by experiencing new challenges and opportunities. I am excited for sophomore year and Can’t wait what it has to offer me!

    -Nicole Paz

  28. Ivory Moore says:

    I feel like I am at the example stage because I now know what I need to do with the program i am implementing at the Boys and Girls Club and now I’m helping other Boners at the Boys and Girls Club find their niche. Being chosen as the site team leader at BGCA has given me the opportunity to be a great example. I feel like I followed my E’s perfectly. The beginning stages were a little rocky for me to identify because I joined Bonner late. So, I had questions like, ” am I supposed to be doing more… or is it okay because I joined late” lol. The specific event that helped me realize that I was at the example level was developing my own program and putting it into play, then becoming site team leader all within 3 weeks. I’ve seen other Bonners embody the E’s very nicely, hopefully ill turn out like them .

  29. Isabella Barone says:

    I believe the E that I’m at is Exploration. I’ve been at my site for only a few days but I already feel like I’ve learned so much and yet have so much to learn. Mercy House offers something new every day, and it’s a very different environment from what I’m used to serving in. I don’t know what I was originally expecting from my site, but, considering that I’m offered something new every day, I doubt I could have expected any thing better. The biggest surprise has been the close capacity in which I’ve been dealing with clients directly because I honestly didn’t expect this opportunity to be open to me until later on. I don’t think I realized how directly involved I would be and, once I truly got a perspective of how deeply involved we are, I was nervous but excited. Serving people is such a huge part of my life, and I want to work with people for the rest of my life. I love talking with all the other Bonners about our sites because they all provide guidance. When I’m unsure of how to proceed at my site or how to process what I’m dealing with there, other Bonners are always in the wings ready to share their experiences and give suggestions.

  30. Isabella Barone says:

    I believe the E that I’m at is Exploration. I’ve been at my site for only a few days but I already feel like I’ve learned so much and yet have so much to learn. Mercy House offers something new every day, and it’s a very different environment from what I’m used to serving in. I don’t know what I was originally expecting from my site, but, considering that I’m offered something new every day, I doubt I could have expected any thing better. The biggest surprise has been the close capacity in which I’ve been dealing with clients directly because I honestly didn’t expect this opportunity to be open to me until later on. I don’t think I realized how directly involved I would be and, once I truly got a perspective of how deeply involved we are, I was nervous but excited. Serving people is such a huge part of my life, and I want to work with people for the rest of my life. I love talking with all the other Bonners about our sites because they all provide guidance. When I’m unsure of how to proceed at my site or how to process what I’m dealing with there, other Bonners are always in the wings ready to share their experiences and give suggestions.

  31. Meghan Conboy says:

    I feel that a mix between example and experience best embodies my current stage as a Bonner. I have expanded my roles, both within Bonner and on Siena’s campus, and have become more comfortable in leadership positions. However, because I am at a new site this semester, I am learning about the mission and goals of a new service site and the dynamics of the Cohoes community. I think I am on track with my E’s, even though I fall within the experience stage as a junior, because I am in the process of learning about a new site and community. Transitioning sites has pushed me back an E, but it has also made me more confident as a leader and reinforced my experiences. I have enjoyed watching the underclassmen Bonners learn, ask questions, and become more comfortable as Bonners. B-Love!

  32. Justin Kenyon says:

    I would say that in my Siena and Bonner experience, I’m a mixture of experience and exploration. Over the last two now three years I’ve started many different journeys and continued many. Through all of this I’ve gained much experience and learned how to bounce back from many different scenarios. At the current moment I feel that I am somewhat on my E development. However, this is in a way due to the fact that I just started another new journey with CPI. The E system moves at different paces for everyone.

  33. kayla ginger sweet says:

    As a junior I’m placed in the example category which is a time where I should be taking on leadership roles in Bonner and on campus, setting the example for the change we as Bonner’s set out to create. I think this stage does align with where I am personally in my development as Bonner and Siena student. I recently became a Damietta Advocate which scared me a bit to commit to but it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. I’m always telling people fear is good, which is just my own version of “be uncomfortable with the uncomfortable but it’s important I practice this too to set the example to others and also to myself. I think studying abroad last semester and taking in leadership roles this summer the ACE office have been monumental in pushing me towards this stage.

    Love you all very very much.
    Ginger out

  34. Ecli Vazquez says:

    I feel that the E for experience embodies my current stage in Bonner. The reason why it embodies is because even though I have a lot of experience I’m still looking for something to push me to the next level. I want to find a place within my site where I could be the most efficient but as well help the most people. A good example of a person that has embodied the E for expertise would be Justin with the start of BAMS I feel that he has made a change in the Siena culture. Overall, even though I’m very behind of the E for expertise that’s a place where I want to be within my service site.

    Love and Peace Yall

  35. Rayan Omer says:

    I feel as if I’m still in the Exploration stage. I’m still learning about my site as I continue to serve alongside them, which is a good thing because I get a better understanding of my site. I feel behind at my “E” at times because I know I could be doing more but we have to be patient since my site is still working on reaching our goals. I’ve seen other Bonner’s embody the other “E’s” by being there for other Bonner’s and others by lending out a helping hand. I know some seniors are working on there capstone’s as well.

  36. Thomas Ruhl says:

    I feel like I am currently in the Expertise stage of Bonner, I have grown tremendously as a result of this program and can finally say that I feel like I am a Bonner Expert. I am now writing my capstone, which is proving to be my greatest challenge yet, but we’ll get there. My expectations of Bonner were totally different from the realities of Bonner. This was mostly because I didn’t really have a ton of expectations, I just showed up to gear up and said let’s give this a shot. Thankfully I loved it, and I quickly found friends and mentors from every “E” who helped me get to expertise today.

    • Alexee Seifert says:

      As of right now i feel that the E that best explains me is exploration because i am still getting use to my site and exploring all the jobs i can do at my service site. I also feel that exploration best describes the point i am at because i am still learning how everything at my site should be done and how everything works . I feel that i am at a good point when it comes to my “E” because it’s a good starting point for my first year . I also feel like I’m at a good point because i habent been at my site for too long so exploring it is still a good standing point . I have seen many Bonner’s help one another when someone they know or don’t know is in need, working on their capstones, and the people at my site are in their expertise state because they’ve been at this site for a while.

  37. Julia says:

    In Bonner I believe I am in between the experience and example stage. Coming into Bonner I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into so my expectations were pretty general- go to Boys and Girls Club for eight hours each week and on occasion participate in a community service day. At my current “E” I realize how involved Bonners are at their sites. I feel like I am at a good point in the E development. I am in the process of starting a program but I’m still experiencing and learning about BGCA. There aren’t many programs at BGCA right now so I definitely want the kids to have an activity to look forward to. I think my site team leader Ivory is doing an amazing job stepping up and would fall in between example and expertise. We just had a site team meeting and it was really productive!!

    B-LOVE,
    Julia

  38. Liliana Sanchez says:

    I feel like I am on the example stage. I have grown up since my freshman year. My freshman year was more of exploration and figuring out what is it that I wanted to do at my site. Now as I move on to my junior year I know specifically what situations or problems I want to tackle at the club. That being said, I have started to create programs both at the teen and the after-school program. Moving up another E, I would like to specificy my program and make it sustainable so that when I leave the club they are able to continue with the program.

  39. Megan Jones says:

    I firmly believe that at this point in my Bonner career I am transitioning from Experience to Example at my service site and within the Siena community. This year I was able to step up with Grace, my partner in crime at School 2, and take on the leadership role as site team leaders. I am so excited to guide the freshman, Maddie and Nancy, as they transition into Girl Scouts and working with the students at School 2. I am working to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and ready for their role at the school and that our team has some exciting stuff ready for our girls. I feel as though I have come a long way from my expectations with Bonner and service since freshman year. I have become more aware of how the program works and what is expected of me as a Bonner Service Leader as well as how I utilize my own skills in order to bring something to the table. I feel as though there should be no set way to be behind or ahead of your “E’s” as we are all constantly growing in and out of sites as well as experiencing different changes that make our roles shift. I think it’s important to recognize that anyone can be at any stage at any time during their journey as the levels can be combined and be viewed differently which I think is totally cool. I am confident that everyone is putting their all into their service experience and are eager to develop ideas that will do good for the communities that they serve in.

    Peace and Love,
    Meg

  40. Skylar Nijhawan says:

    I think the “E” that embodies my current stage in Bonner is Exploration. I also thing that I am still in the Expectation stage as well. I think I am still in both “E” s because I am one of the few new Bonners at the Siena Writing center which is a new site. I think the original expectation stage compared to now is very similar. I expected it to be very stressful and to take up a lot of my time. Although it takes up a lot of my time however, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else within that time. I think I am right on schedule with my E because it is only the second month of school. I think the first meeting with my site supervisors was a catalyst for my current E. I have definitely watched other Bonners embody the other “E” s especially the senior Bonners.

  41. Sydney Maughan says:

    I always see Bonner’s embodying E’s; experience, example, and expertise. At my site TRIP, I’ve seen people become devoted to the area within TRIP where they work. I’ve also seen example, a Junior taking on the responsibilities that normally a senior at our site would have. These people talk about TRIP with such enthusiasm that I can’t help but be thankful that I’m at the same site as them.
    The E that embodies me right now is Exploration. Exploration is “first year students participate in a variety of service sites and activities including short term service tips.” After preparing to participate in a program; visiting and learning about sites and the responsibilities you have at them, it’s helped me get adjusted at TRIP.
    My expectation stage compared to my current E, exploration. In my expectation stage, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what I’d be doing and i didn’t know if I liked doing it. Overtime as I began to prepare for service, I became more excited and interested. Although at first I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything of importance at my site. My “asks” got more and more important, now I’ve been with donors and sponsors for TRIP’s 50th Annual Homecoming Celebration.

  42. Kevin Ziobrowski says:

    1. I believe I am currently in the experience stage, as I still wish to find out what specific area I should be able to improve upon. This year I have already received more responsibilities, which should help.
    2. So far the pacing it is taking to find my niche is a pleasant surprise, as initially coming into the program I thought I had much less time to find where I fit in.
    3. Im definitely behind where I thought I would need to be, but this is not a bad thing.
    4. I cannot think of a particular moment other than the start of the new year.
    5. I’ve seen some of my peers step up and become a core component of their site, and I know their sites are going to have trouble replacing them. This makes me confident in my role at service, as I look up to their example.

  43. A'Livija Mullins-Richard says:

    I feel my current “E” is exploration. I came into Bonner having experience in a nonprofit centered around empowering women and eliminating racism and to be working with Capital Roots now is very different and similar in some ways. So I am exploring my passion/interest for different social issues. I think I am at the “E” I’m supposed to be at because I believe it’s important to dabble in a little bit of everything and gain knowledge before focusing on one. I’ve seen other Bonner’s embody the “E”s by offering guidance to those in need.

  44. Nia Colon says:

    Currently, I think I moved into the Exploration stage. I think going to my service site and working with the kids and thinking of ideas for activities has allowed me to move onto the next stage. When I was in the Expectation phase I was just waiting to see what I was in for. I did not visit my site with the children there so I feel like I did not have a real feel for the site. Being there for almost a month has allowed me to become more comfortable and move on to the next stage.I do not feel ahead or behind on my E’s. I think that we all find our place eventually and one might take longer than the others.

  45. Emerald says:

    Currently in my Bonner experience I am in the fifth ‘E’ stage of development: expertise. As a Senior the last three years I have learned through a vast majority of experiences and mentors. Today, I see myself capable and eager to mentor others. Furthermore, I see my capability in building relationships and serving with community partners to complete my capstone. Looking back now, my expectations for Bonner have been far surpassed by the reality of what this program/community we have built truly is. The opportunities I have been given and the support from fellow peers and mentors is unsurmountable.

    For myself the catalyst that served as my milestone of growth would be planning Summer Gear Up as a co-coordinator. I may be the only person to recognize this shift but I can clearly distinguish the ‘Emerald before’ to the ‘Emerald after(currently)’ planning Summer Gear Up. During this experience, I was challenged to step outside of my inherent nature of questioning my capability and not feeling adequate to step up to the plate. As a reserved and observant person by nature this experience gave me the outlet to find my voice and the confidence to use it.

  46. Brendan Weingarten Savage says:

    I feel like I am in between the second and third “E” stages. While I feel like I am definitely already settled in at my service site, and I took on an important role early on as a Bonner, I still feel I need to do more work in making sustainable change at my service site. I feel like during freshman year I was still learning so much about my site and was given so many responsibilities early on that I put any thought about long-term projects and sustainability on the back-burner. Last year, the Community Accountability Board program that I was overseeing was very busy all the time, and that has since slowed down dramatically. I think this will give me more time to dive into long-term projects that I think some of my peers are already working on.

  47. Lulama Nyembe says:

    Seeing as how I am only a few weeks into working at my service site, I think the exploration stage best exemplifies my current stage in Bonner. Looking back to a little over a month ago when I was still in the expectation phase, I now know exactly what it means to be a Bonner and what is expected of me. Like a baby learning how to walk, I feel I have gotten to the point where I can get up and hobble around. I am still stumbling and will most likely fall over as I’m still learning but I think that is a huge part of being in the exploration stage. I am willing to take a bit of a step back to observe more and follow in the example of others. I am at a point where I am more so trying to gain understanding before doing. Getting settled into my site and getting acclimated with the environment has definitely helped me move up to my exploration stage from the expectation phase. Other Bonners have embodied the “E’s” by showing their extensive knowledge about their sites and by showing us, freshman Bonners, what it means to be a Bonner and someone who doesn’t serve the community, but serves with the community.

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