Bonners are Visionaries

Bonners are Visionaries

May 2, 2021 Uncategorized 42

Reflect back on our first blog post of the year. At the start of the semester, especially at Summer Gear Up, we talked a lot about our visions for the future. These included visions for the semester and year, your goals for service, academics, and the larger community. Did your vision change throughout the year? If so, how did you make adjustments to create a new vision? What was challenging about this process? How have you experienced personal and professional growth this year? In what ways did the Bonner program and your Bonner family help you to grow?

42 Responses

  1. Samantha Gisleson says:

    After reflecting on the past year, I feel that some of my visions changed, while others stayed on track.
    One thing that I noted in my first reflection of this year was that “Siena is a special community, and although the pandemic made it difficult to keep the Siena spirit alive, it did not make it impossible.” I feel that this really rang true, especially within our Bonner community. One of my goals for this semester was finding a way to combine all of my various interests to find a capstone that is exciting for me to work on but also needed somewhere in the community and to be more of a mentor. I feel that I have achieved both goals, as I am now working on a capstone project that I love and have formed great relationships with both of my Bonner Buddies 🙂
    Another goal of mine was to stay focussed during such a strange semester and to enjoy my classes to enjoy the little moments among the craziness. I feel that I was really able to grow personally this semester by finding ways to take care of myself so that I can be my best. Although there were definitely some tough days, I ultimately feel that I was able to accomplish so much over the past year.
    Lastly, one vision of mine that has changed a little is my plans for after graduation. I originally felt that I had to go straight to grad school following my undergrad studies, but have now decided to hold off on grad school and take some time to figure out what I truly want to do before taking that next step.
    The past year has not been the easiest, but it has surely been one of growth and change, and I am excited to see what my last semester at Siena holds.

  2. Marlie Frisco says:

    Looking back on my post from the beginning of the year, much of my focus has remained the same. I have spent this past year working on my Bonner capstone, as it has developed much more than I could have expected. While I would have loved to be in person serving with the amazing employees and staff at Whitney Young, I do believe that my capstone will provide some much-needed information regarding the use of the patient portal at Whitney Young. This past year has certainly been challenging as we have been forced to find new ways to communicate and interact with each other. The pandemic ultimately affected the distribution of my capstone survey, as we had plans and approval for there to be a hard copy survey available in the office. However, due to the pandemic, this was no longer an option. We shifted our focus to the electronic survey while also acknowledging that this biased our sample. With that said, I am hoping to be able to do additional data collection this summer.

    I know that I have grown so much both personally and professionally in the last year. I have taken on additional roles, accepted challenges, and have (nearly) completed two capstone projects on topics I am passionate about. The Bonner Program has challenged me throughout my four years at Siena by giving me the opportunity to challenge my beliefs outside of the classroom and in the community. I have learned how to use my voice, recognize disparities, and be comfortable with the uncomfortable and know that these skills will be instrumental as I pursue a career in Nursing.

  3. Chandler Edbauer says:

    Did your vision change throughout the year? If so, how did you make adjustments to create a new vision? What was challenging about this process? How have you experienced personal and professional growth this year? In what ways did the Bonner program and your Bonner family help you to grow?

    I think my vision has changed which is good because that means I am growing. I wanted to do so much this year and I feel like I accomplished a lot but I also learned that I need to clear my plate every now and then so that I can work on myself. I keep thinking that doing things will make me stand out, and having a packed resume is good. I have learned that I need to prioritize things. I have definitely looked at my future and decided that I can’t be two people. I have had to drop things I don’t care about so I can focus on things I do care about. I have become more voiceful and now I feel like I can hold my own in any way. The Bonner program and the Bonner family have helped me learn to reevaluate and refocus. When I reflect on my life and my decisions I do know what is right and what is wrong. I can grow in myself and learn to experience things at the moment. I found that at the moment I do not like what I do and so I needed to focus on what exactly I don’t like.

  4. Cody Romani says:

    At the beginning of this year, some of my visions for this year were to succeed academically and continue to learn more about racial justice and issues in our world. For service, my main goals were to meet new people and find something that I am passionate about. The pandemic has made life very difficult at times and it has been necessary to adjust. This semester, I was able to pair up with Unity House of Troy and work with their online tutoring program. I am very passionate about education so this was an opportunity I could not pass up on. Also, academically I have done pretty well and have really enjoyed being in person for most of my classes. Some of my visions did change. Sometimes I caught myself getting too much involved with activities and not focusing on my overall health. Sometimes I overwork myself which makes me very tired on a daily basis. It is important that I take it one day at a time and prioritize certain things in my life. It was very challenging for me to focus on myself a little more because I do like focusing on others. Finding a balance is my challenge.

    Overall, I do think that I have experienced personal and professional growth this year. I have taken on more leadership positions and I have gotten more involved in clubs and events on campus. Also, I have continued to educate myself about social justice issues and have had conversations with my peers. The Bonner program has helped me with time management and has provided me with opportunities to learn more about social justice issues. I am thankful for the Bonner program and am excited for future opportunities.

  5. Abigail Hoekman says:

    After reflecting on my first post of the year, my overall vision has remained the same. The main goals that I outlined in that post were the goals of continuing to unpack my privilege as a white woman and educate myself about how to be a better Ally. One major way in which I hoped to grow in this way was through my Capstone research project titled: The Changing Needs of DEI Training in Non-Profit Organizations: Assessing Modes of Delivery and Content in Response to Current Events and Trends. My capstone has changed to become more literature-review-based and informative, rather than developing training, as was initially planned. I believe my capstone project has informed me immensely on issues that face BIPOC individuals and helped me to formulate ways in which my community partner can improve their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives for the benefit of employees, clients, and all shareholders involved in the organization. This process was challenging because initially the project was aimed at collecting survey information from all employees of the organization but had to be changed significantly for purposes of IRB approval. However, I believe this reflects just how sensitive this topic is within many organizations and that this project, in order to serve my community partner best, needed to be more informational in order for leaders of the organization to educate themselves and make well-informed decisions moving forward with implementation of DEI initiatives. This information has also helped me to develop new visions for my life moving forward as I am pursuing a job in Human Resources where I can continue to help organizations develop and improve DEI processes.

    I have experienced immense personal and professional growth during this past year. This year, just as every year prior in my college experience, has had its own unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. It has felt like the last three years as a Bonner have been preparing me for my Capstone project and allowed me to develop strong relationships with mentors and my community partner in order to provide quality research for the organization’s benefit. I am grateful for all the lessons Bonner has taught me throughout my time at Siena. Bonner has encouraged me to ask questions and pursue difficult conversations, be comfortable with the uncomfortable, and how to be an agent for change and use my voice and leverage my privilege to lift up people, communities, and organizations who are fighting for equity and inclusion of all people. There is no doubt in my mind I will continue to use these lessons in a variety of ways and apply them throughout my future endeavors.

  6. Nora Diede says:

    After looking back at this year, I have noticed many changes within my own plans and vision of what this year would look like. I think this is an incredibly positive thing, as I was able to learn a lot more about so much and adjust my plans and goals accordingly. Being a part of the Bonner Program has opened my eyes to so many things that I would have never been exposed to. This refined some of the visions I had, as I have been able to engage in different types of service and learned what I like and am passionate about. This allowed me to change my site to something that I hope to be able to continue with, as I find I have much more of a passion for the work done there. This change came naturally and was not necessarily challenging. However, I think change is always daunting, even when it is quick or close together. Due to the pandemic so many aspects of this year had to be changed or adjusted, and because of this another switch was something that I found manageable.
    I think I have grown a large amount as a person this year. Looking back at who I was when arriving for Summer Gear Up this past August, I am astonished by the differences there are. The Bonner Program has aided so much in this development, not only through providing lessons on different issue areas and training on professionalism, but also by surrounding me with people with broad perspective and ideas. I am a firm believer that the people that you are around make (hopefully) a profoundly positive impact on you. By being in this program I have had the privilege to meet such positive and impactful people. This program also guided me in many other ways, such as giving me perspective of communities and people outside of what I had been previously exposed to. This, in my opinion, has led me to be a more open minded person who is eager to learn more about people, communities and cultures outside of what I am familiar with.

  7. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    My vision for the beginning of the semester was to complete my capstone project. My capstone project throughout the year challenged me to think outside the box and think about what the community really needs. My capstone project was my priority to achieve for my service and academic goal. My research with help build future projects for my non-profit to build financially literacy programs for young adults. Therefore, I have kept focus on my goal to finish a well created capstone. As a result, this was a very fulfilling project to do during my senior year towards the end of my Siena career.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      Ahh!! It’s so awesome that your capstone is all coming together. We’re in the homestretch!

  8. Abeer Jafri says:

    Although many circumstances made it difficult at times to keep up with my visions, I think I tried my best to pull through. Service-wise, I am happy with the progress we made with the tutoring program, and am excited for the growth it’s going through. Although communicating remotely was tough at times, we were able to help many children with academic success. Going through the thick of the pandemic definitely made academics challenging, but I think my visions changed in that aspect because I learned not to beat myself up over fluctuations in performance, and that there are many things more important in life than grades. I am glad to have experienced that growth, and hopefully it will help me find more intrinsic motivation in everything that I do. As for the larger community, I definitely would have liked to be able to physically help out more, but as things return to normal I am sure I will get more opportunities to do so. I was, however, able to fulfill my goal of educating myself more about social injustices, and Bonner meetings helped with this as well. The Wednesday night meetings kept me grounded and were always a nice reminder of why we do what we do in the program. Keeping in mind my new lesson that the path of life is not always perfect and straight, I am excited to see what next semester holds.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      I’m really glad to hear that Wednesday nights have been able to help you stay grounded in your work and service. Even though we haven’t been physically together, it’s still been nice to come together for the reminder of why we do what we do, like you said!

  9. Kayla McKay says:

    After looking back on this year, I have noticed a dramatic change in my visions for the semester and my goals. Some big changes that I notice are with my service site. The first semester, my site was supposed to be at Whitney Young in person but due to the pandemic, I was fully virtual doing seminars. This semester has changed because I am currently working with Birthnet. My responsibility with this consists of making podcasts about reproductive justice. I really enjoy working with my site because I get to learn about Black advocacy and history that is related to reproductive justice. I never saw this opportunity coming and I am grateful that I get to work with such a wonderful site. This also aligns with my goals of pursuing a job in the medical field so there are great parallels. A change that also is alarming to me is switching my major. This was a big change because I knew it was the best choice but kept contemplating with myself to do it or not because I thought I would regret it. This choice is changing my life for the better because now I am happy with what I am studying and excited to see where I got with it. These two changes made me realize that even though change is a little terrifying, it is exciting. I also learned that even though I keep changing it does not take away from my end goals in life. It is just another path to achieving it. Something that was challenging about these changes was that other changes were happening that were out of my control. This made me realize that I can not be in control of everything because it leads to unnecessary stress. Controlling what I can control is the best way to handle change and it is something that I am still working on.

    As a whole the Bonner Program made me grow as a person in multiple ways. From my site to the training on Wednesday nights, it has helped me become such an open-minded person and be aware of issues that I am not familiar with. It makes me more curious to learn more and to help communities that need it. The Bonner Program has also helped me learn about advocating whether it is for myself or other people. I learned that using my voice to speak for what is right is one of the most powerful tools I can use to help educate others.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Kayla, I am so glad to hear that you have had such a great experience with your site! I also love that you were able to make these changes in your life and are seeing the benefits. Change is scary, but it can also be a pathway to success.

  10. Samantha Lunt says:

    Looking back on this past year, I am not where I thought I would be but I am so glad I’m here. In my reflection at the beginning of the year, I talked about how I wanted to continue to grow and challenge myself to think deeply and continue to educate myself. Thinking back on this I know I have grown and have taken the time to educate myself and I have found the importance of always being open to learning and challenging myself. It is crazy that at the beginning of this year I was serving at the YWCA and now I am at a new site, The Cohoes Connect Center. I have also taken on a couple leadership roles that I am excited to dive into. This year has not been easy, but it has taught me so much. I have learned and am continuing to learn how to adapt and embrace change, which is something that has always been hard for me to do. The Bonner program has been this place for me to be able to grow, challenge myself, and take on roles that I didn’t know I was capable of. This crazy year only has me looking forward to the next one!

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      Woohoo! So exciting to watch you learn and grow. I can’t wait to see all that you do with your next two years!

  11. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    My visions did not change too much! I had said at the beginning of the year that I wanted to enjoy my senior year and focus on things within my control. I certainly struggled with this focus because there has been so much change and grief that comes along with those changed of things not being “normal” this year. In terms of academics, I have definitely learned more within my social work classes and have been able to grow. With Bonner, I officially hit 1800 hours and keep climbing into the 2000s!! In regard to the community, I discussed the Siena community in hopes that we would remain here all semester. We’ve been doing well (knock on wood!) I have also created new visions in where I will be post grad, and have shifted focus on next steps after Siena. This has been challenging because I will be leaving a big part of my life behind here at Siena, and am leaving not in the way we expected being that covid is still very real and has altered our experiences on campus. I have grown personally in that I have learned how to cope better with changes that come my way and professionally in the sense of advocating for myself and ensuring that I am upholding my responsibilities. The Bonner program has challenged me this year to step up and take on the role of leading this program along other PAs, doing a lot of the behind the scenes work in the absence of a director for a good amount of time. Having my Bonner family alongside me through this wild journey this year as well as over the past four years has provided me with people to lean on and grow with. This program has both challenged me and supported me and I am incredibly thankful to have had these experiences!

  12. Ava Bibisi says:

    After looking back on my goals at the beginning of the year, some have changed and some have remained the same. I had some long term visions that are still coming together and that I am working towards, but other goals, through Bonner, have been able to be fulfilled. With all the chaos over the past year, I have been challenged to accept change and be more open to change occurring throughout my life. I’ve had to adjust to things not always going as planned and not always having ends meet the way I would like them to. Personally, in the last year I have had to alter my goals and how I want to see myself moving forward, as well as professionally. Bonner meetings have taught me several empowering messages that I have been able to use in a professional setting and that have forced me to change how I want to pursue my goals in a professional manner. With my Bonner buddy, and with the Bonner community as a whole, I have been able to be inspired by others and their experiences as well as use my talents to benefit others. My goals have involved help with several members of the Bonner community and I have been lucky enough to have the support needed from my peers.

  13. Amanda Molloy says:

    Looking back at the goals I had, I think they have stayed pretty similar throughout the year. My goals centered around trying to have a more positive attitude after a lot of months of negativity in the height of the pandemic and I also had the goal of trying to connect with the community in service even though we could not physically go to sites. I think there were still a lot of times I struggled to maintain a positive attitude this year because there were still challenges but I think I did grow in this way that it has been better and I can easily recognize that mindset now. As for service, the first semester I found it really challenging to connect to my site and with the community but that has improved so much this semester and I can actually see some of the impacts that are being made. Being a part of Bonner has definitely helped me connect with the community and work on maintaining a better mindset throughout this year and has helped me grow a lot which I am so grateful for!

  14. Jonathan Limey says:

    My visions/goals for the year have been very consistent, just hoping to have a positive change. After my senior year and the start of the pandemic, I learned that sometimes it isn’t setting a goal that is important but tackling what is in front of you with your full attention. Throughout the semesters I have learned a lot about my own skill sand an advocate for change and how I can work in a team. I was challenged to have those difficult conversations while blessed to leave them with a better understanding than I had before. This is all thanks to allowing for personal change that I have had which was encouraged by Bonner. However, I see the biggest change being that I recognize that I will and need to continue to change. I have begun to understand my own shortcomings better and what I should focus on to be able to serve the community better. In the end, my SGU goal was to be able to see a positive change by the end of the year. I am delightfully surprised that the change was in myself, and I owe that to Bonner.

    • Erin Spence says:

      I love this self-reflection, Jonathan! You have definitely made the most of this difficult year, and I am so excited to see the leader that you become throughout these next couple of years.

  15. Sydney Maughan says:

    Goals I had for service were to be able to support the community even though I am doing remote service. And even though I am remote, I feel like I will be able to make an impact on the Siena community concerning sexual misconduct. As for academics, I was excited for this semester because I’m taking so many classes related to my major and I have enjoyed them as well as excelled in them. I enjoy attending my classes and like my teachers (for the most part). My vision focused on being able to return to normalcy and given the circumstances, I feel that I have been able to do that by having a schedule and weekly responsibilities. I’ve experienced personal and professional growth while working on my capstone because it’s led me to so many opportunities. I am much better now meeting with people one on one, over Zoom and have grown my network significantly. The Bonner program has helped me grow so much this school year, my capstone especially has allowed me to meet and talk to so many people and learn and get advice from them. It is a rewarding feeling to be able to reach out to people not knowing if they’ll be interested in my capstone project and then ending our meetings with support and with their helpful information/tips.

  16. Nia Colon says:

    My vision did not change throughout the year. The goal has really been the same for the past two years. I think the most challenging thing about my goal was the fear of not achieving it. I think I have experienced both personal and professional growth this year. I’ve experienced professional growth by having more confidence in my skills in the clinical setting. I have experienced personal growth by just having more confidence in myself as a student. The Bonner programmed helped contribute to some of the growth by putting me in uncomfortable situations that I would not normally put myself in.

  17. Sarah Ahmed says:

    Looking back, I can see that my vision didn’t change necessarily, but for some of the goals, the way I achieved them did. For instance, one of my goals was to learn more about my site which ended up changing. I did not expect to be at my current site at the beginning of the year and even though I accomplished my goal, I did it in a different way which was challenging because the site was unfamiliar. I think this says a lot about life though. We all set goals for ourselves and sometimes we have an idea of how we want to get there, but for the better, we accomplish those goals in a different way than we previously imagined. Academically, I wanted to actually be able to use the knowledge I learned in my classes in life and be passionate about those classes. For the spring semester, I can definitely say I accomplished that goal. One way in which I grew both personally and professionally was advocating for myself and my wishes. I tend to go along with others’ want and even If I do not agree because I don’t want to make anyone mad, but I learned that I need to advocate for what I think is best. Bonner has definitely educated me more about the injustices around us, and how to tackle those issues. It also has given me the confidence to stand up in front of a class and present my ideas.

  18. Parker says:

    Reflecting on this year, I found that, for the most part, my vision stayed the same. However, how I went about accomplishing my vision and goals changed depending on the circumstances in which I found myself over this past year. This year like 2020, was a bit of a roller coaster, and although things have been improving steadily, we are certainly not back to what anyone would consider normal. That being said I think I accomplished the majority of my goals from attaining a place on the President’s List, to getting involved on campus in a variety of clubs and activities and making new friends. I also think I grew as a person over the past academic year, since the inherent uncertainty of the times taught me to be more flexible and adaptable. My time management has certainly improved and I was able to take part in meaningful community-oriented projects through Bonners. Whether that was documenting school reopenings in the Fall, to my research from the Moreau Community Center during the Winter of Service to my work with NeXT this semester. I also expanded my ability to advocate for myself using the tools that Bonner has taught me. Sadly I was unable to accomplish my goal of learning more about my assigned site ( the Boys and Girls Club) and get really involved there, but that was due more to circumstances out of my control. Overall I think it was a successful productive year, all things considered.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Parker, you have so much to be proud of this year! As you said, this has not been an easy year, but you have overcome this challenge and continued to do the things that you are passionate about. As the world continues to change, I have a feeling next year will be even better!

  19. Erin Spence says:

    Throughout my service work this year, my goals have remained relatively consistent. At the beginning of this year, I was very new to the PA role and was feeling very nervous and hesitant about taking on this new leadership role. Recruitment was a large task to take on, but I was prepared to do my best and roll with every change that came at me, as well as the program as a whole. The changes that occurred within leadership in the program this year definitely brought additional challenges with adapting to this role myself. Because of this, I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader and my own leadership style. There have been several times throughout the semester that I was feeling very overwhelmed. One of the biggest lessons I have learned and am continuing to work on is knowing when and how to ask for help. I know that at times I can’t do it all, and it is okay to lean on others for support. I have a great team that I know I can rely on, and they have helped me to learn this as well. Even though this year has not been easy, I still feel a strong connection to my Bonner family and I am so hopeful that we can bring some more normalcy back to our Bonner life next semester!

  20. Maura Lynch says:

    At the beginning of this year, I didn’t know how hard my course load would be. I had heard the nursing was difficult, but I didn’t know that my peers and I would be non stop working only to see mediocre results. It’s extremely tough to put in the most work that I ever have, to skip hanging out with my friends and to put everything on hold to not even see results. This led to a huge need for self care, which I’m only realizing now. I used to think self care meant face masks and getting your nails done, but I’m now realizing that, for me, it means setting boundaries and putting myself first. It is frustrating to know that nobody knows what I am going through unless they are in nursing school themselves, but it is proof to me that I don’t need to explain my needs to others, just that I owe it to myself to fulfill them. I hope next semester I can start fresh, now knowing my needs, and knowing how to say no to people rather than over extending myself.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      Maura, self-care is so difficult to implement and I still struggle with it too. And, you make a great point about advocating for your needs, that’s so important. Also, remember that you have a Bonner Family that supports you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

  21. Kiara Woodward says:

    This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster from start to finish. I am extremely grateful that we managed to stay on campus for the entire semester. That was truly my senior year wish. Some days it felt like we would never see a slice of normalcy again. It feels like it has been impossible not to grow this year. We were all thrown a lot of curveballs recently. I have learned adaptability, flexibility, resilience, advocacy and so much more. I found myself exercising these skills more than I ever thought I would have to. The challenges I have face this year have laid solid groundwork for me as I will soon transition into the professional world. This is not the senior year I pictured but I am extremely grateful for all of the experiences and memories I have made.

  22. Jackson Regan says:

    Looking back at my first reflection from the start of the year, I was optimistic, despite the conditions we were in back during that time, with Covid still raging, and everything and everyone just seemed so tense, high-stung and stressed. I was unsure of my visions because I didn’t know what to expect in Bonner and in Siena as a whole. Reflecting on the year, yes there were challenges, and plenty of stress to go around, but that’s part of the college package. I made lots of new friends and learned a lot both in and out of the classroom. And Bonner was no different. Online service was new, but still fun, which leaves me optimistic for in-person service next year. I can’t wait for the new year to start, but I will definitely look back on this year fondly, and I am very grateful for everything that has happened.

  23. Dana Wakeman says:

    My vision for the year was to continue to grow and challenge myself with my capstone and through the PA role.

    With PA, one of my goals was to make interesting and engaging trainings during the fall semester. This was an incredibly demanding role, but it forced me to learn more about asking for help because there were sometimes too many trainings for me to make in too short of a time. I also wanted to learn more about social justice issues, and making trainings helped me accomplish this goal as I did a lot of research to create trainings about issues that I or other Bonners wanted to learn more about.

    I also wanted to challenge myself with the capstone project, and that definitely happened. My capstone/thesis project is the hardest project I have ever done before. I am so grateful for the project as I was able to learn a lot about research and surveys, but more importantly, I was able to create a project that is helpful to my partner. I also was able to grow through the support from my community partner, ACE admin, and my fellow seniors. I would not have been able to complete this project without their support.

    Overall, my vision is to continue to grow and challenge myself as I move to DC. Please get ready for all of the monument pictures, and thank you all for your support.

  24. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    Wrapping up my junior year in the Bonner program is surreal. Although I made many goals for this past academic year, most of my goals revolved around my capstone. My initial vision for my capstone protect was an end product of a self sufficient writing center at Troy Prep High School. While I do I hope this vision sees the light one day, I ended up going in a different direction. I decided to leave my end product in the hands of the scholars at Troy Prep High School. Through qualitative interviews, I plan to gather the scholars’ needs and interests regarding writing. The end product could take a completely academic path, where scholars would partake in an enrichment program in writing where they learn and explore writing further. Or, the end product could take the creative pathway, where scholars would explore their love for writing through blog posts, social media posts, or other creative outlets.

    This journey was definitely a challenge for me. I’m the type of person that likes to have a set end product before I start a project, so it was a challenge for me to be confident in the change of my end product. This process helped me personally grow as a person because it allowed me and encouraged me to enjoy the journey as opposed to focusing on the destination. The Bonner program and my Bonner family supported me the whole way.

  25. Rachel Gifford says:

    I think I came to Siena with a lot of expectations, and I definitely didn’t know what I was getting into. Many of my visions from the beginning of the year were actually missions and I’m happy to say that I did meet many of them. I was able to settle into the community and build close friendships that have supported me throughout the year. Service-wise I was hoping to learn more about the community, and I definitely did, but I still have more to learn. I was also hoping to be a little more active in the community, which was a lot harder than I was expecting. I didn’t expect how challenging the whole year would be, but it caused me to grow a lot.
    I made some adjustments to my vision by becoming more flexible and realizing that there are a lot of situations out of my control, but I can control how I react to them. It was really hard at the beginning to understand that my college experience wasn’t how I pictured it, but nothing typically goes as planned. I’ve learned a lot more about myself over this semester and I learned to adapt and push myself out of my comfort zone. My friends in Bonner have really been there for me throughout the year!!! I’m going to miss academic support with them because I’ve made some of my best memories with them there. The Bonner family has pushed me and challenged me to be the best version of myself!

  26. Mara Golden says:

    This past year was nothing at all that I thought it was going to be. Getting to be able to come back to campus in the fall was the best thing in the world until I came down with Covid. This was such a scary time for me and my family because my dad is immunocompromised. Luckily no one else in my family came down with it, but it definitely affected my service and academics. Having covid and trying to keep up with the workload was a lot to handle. With the spring semester things started turning up again and I had the ability to come back to campus. My goals have definitely changed for the year in ways I never expected. After finding out my dad was diagnosed with cancer I found how important the little moments spent with family are. I have always been someone who is constantly on the move but with my dad, my new goal is to just slow down.

    To make this new adjustment, I had to make myself very aware of my time. Scheduling became a must for me this semester. This helped because I would not let other things, like school, get in the way of my service or other things. In all, I think I have found better time management skills.

    No matter what is going on in the world or in my own personal life, I feel as though I always learn from Bonner and my Bonner Family. With everything going on right now, Bonner has been able to take some of that stress away. With people always being there and supporting me through it all I found a new level of comfort and more self-confidence in saying I need help.

  27. Ecli Vazquez says:

    At the start of this semester I wasn’t sure if my capstone would be finished. I would say I very happy with the way my semester is ending. I’m happy with the way my project ended up. I would say that I truly turned around when it came to my capstone. I fell in love with everything. When it comes to vision I would say what changed is the view of my capstone. At the start I felt that the capstone was just something I had to do, as time went on I fell more in love with my topic and the information I was collecting.

  28. Michelle Villa says:

    I joined the Bonner Program in the spring semester, so I had time to think about my visions of being in the program and what I wanted to achieve during Winter Break. I’ve been in volunteer programs, but I felt like none of them compare to the intensity of Bonner. I was worried about the transition to the spring semester and taking upper-level classes would cause some interference. However, when I attended the weekly meeting and started volunteering at my site. I stopped being nervous about the whole new workload and just worked with the new events that will go on this semester. I definitely feel more confident near the end of the semester and feel less nervous about my next adventure with Bonner.

  29. Liz MacMurray says:

    Since I joined Bonner in the spring semester, my visions haven’t had a lot of time to grow. I would definitely say that since joining Bonner, I have developed a stronger passion for wanting to make a difference. I learned about so many injustices and I have learned more than I ever thought I could. I have even been able to break out of my shell a little and took on a project at my site. Talking with people have always been difficult for me but joining this program allowed me to build on my communication skills. I’m excited to be able to work a lot more with my site next semester and learn a lot more.

  30. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    At the start of the year, I had expectations for my first year at Siena that may have been more realistic during normal times. However, for the middle of the pandemic, I think they were not entirely achievable. My expectations for service were high as a result of the beaming stories and service experiences of previous semesters. Being completely online for service wasn’t ideal, nor was it my expectation, but I still think it taught me some valuable lessons, and contributed to my personal goal for the semester: to remain more motivated and to try not to procrastinate. This goal was made more challenging by being remote, but I believe I was able to do this, primarily in my academics. Another goal was to push myself socially, which the pandemic really did not help. However, I was able to push myself in other ways- to say yes to more opportunities I otherwise would be too scared to take. One of these opportunities was the SPIn program, which I’m going to do this summer.

  31. Julia says:

    My vision for senior year focused on creating a meaningful capstone project that really benefits the Boys and Girls Club. Overall, my vision stayed pretty constant (capstone quickly becomes a priority). As I near the conclusion of my capstone journey, I am very proud (and exhausted). While there were moments when I wanted to stop and focus on school, my own health, and senior fun, I always pushed though. During this process I learned how to advocate for myself and communicate effectively- something I will definitely take with me in the professional world. The Bonner senior class is absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for them. This past year I leaned on my peers for motivation and insight. I am also very thankful for my mentor April who challenged me to do my best always.

  32. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    It is safe to say, my visions change completely with this pandemic and my goals had to be reprioritized because of something bigger than our own personal goals. I wanted to do so many volunteering hours and do well in all my classes and etc, although I did do pretty great this semester grades wise, service and bonner had to be pushed back since now I had to work over 45 hours per week. I had to work hard to keep my grades up with all else that is going on and realizing that I cannot excel at every single thing I do is okay. I experienced personal growth by realizing how to manage an intense workload as well as taking care of myself which is something I had not really accomplished in prior semesters. My bonner family helped me grow because although it is a difficult time for me all of them are so understanding and accommodating because everyone deeply cares for the other in our little family. They helped me take on so much more than I thought I could and were there for me every step of the way.

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