Alumni Spotlight | Tom Ruhl ’19
I graduated from Siena in May of 2019 with a degree in History Education. A defining feature of my time at Siena was my involvement in the Bonner Service Leaders Program. During my time in Bonner, I served as Program Coordinator for the Trailblazer Program and as a Program Associate for Bonner. I also spent two years on the Bonner Advisory Board for the Bonner Foundation. The Trailblazer program was an afterschool program for middle schoolers in Albany that focused on college access, mentorship, homework help, and leadership development. As a Program Associate, I assisted with the administrative tasks that allow the program to run smoothly. My main focus was accountability, but my proudest accomplishments as a PA were planning and executing Bonner Congress at Siena, running the West Virginia Trip in 2017, and recruiting the Class of 2021.
The highlight of my time in Bonner, and my time at Siena, were the relationships I built with the people I served with. Bonner became my second family in the four years I was part of it. I will forever be grateful for the connections I made with Bonners at Siena and across the Bonner network. Although my time as a Bonner has run its course, the people I met and the experiences I had left me well prepared for post-graduate life. After graduation, I filled a leave replacement in the 7th-grade class where I did my student teaching in the Capital Region. Then, in January, I went to Malaysia on a Fulbright Grant to teach English for 10 months. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fulbright worldwide was shut down and I had to come home after only 3 months in Malaysia. Although leaving early was heartbreaking, my time in Malaysia was nothing short of amazing. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had or the people I met for anything in the world. In the end, I just had to trust the process and come home. Trusting the process is one of the most important lessons I learned in Bonner, and if I had to say anything to the current Bonners at Siena, I would say trust the process, go with the flow, and everything will work out in the end.
Tom Ruhl ’19
Siena Bonner Service Leaders Alum