Reflections from a Bonner Senior
The Siena College Bonner Service Leaders program has given me opportunities that would have never crossed my path had I not been in the program. From stepping outside of my comfort zone to creating and reaching new goals each year. It is a program that offers you space for improvement, to challenge yourself, to learn, to be aware, to be an advocate, and to be you in many environments. I am most grateful for the opportunity to complete my capstone project. Being a business major, I am not obligated to complete a capstone project in order to graduate. Therefore, this is a specific opportunity I personally received being a Bonner.
At first I did not want to do a capstone project. As a junior I thought it was going to be too much work and not align with my career goals. However, this project has actually taught me a lot about myself and my passion for research. My capstone project is being done in collaboration with my service site, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany. For my capstone I am researching and creating a corporate volunteer program. This program will be created to further build relations with our corporate partners and streamline a volunteer process for their employees who volunteer with us.
Throughout my senior year I have contacted our different partners for interviews, conducted a lot of research, and have managed to slowly but surely put together my capstone. There is still a lot to get done, but it is in the works. I am hoping that my project is successful in helping my service site and hopefully becomes a sustainable project. I have put many hours into it, but I do not regret it. I am truly happy with my experience as a Bonner because it is one that only I experienced. Every Bonner’s experience is different, and that is something that is so unique about the program. You have your site, your own projects, your own passions, and you are the only one who can do it. Being a Bonner means you are willing to learn, to fail, to succeed, to be better, to improve, and to be you to your fullest potential. Being a Bonner means you are a part of a family and network of people who are all doing their best to make this world a better place whether it’s through their capstone project or just going to service.
Shayla Encarnacion ’19
Bonner Service Leader