Community Scholars Program

Turn work-study into community involvement
      Are You Eligible?
      How Do I Get Started?
      Frequently Asked Questions
      Social Justice Issues Our Communities Face
      Is It Worth It? What Scholars Say

Community Scholars Program
Community Scholars are students who complete work-study obligations by participating in significant community-based learning experiences. Community Scholars document and  share their work and experiences and promote a culture of community service and learning on campus.

Susan May, Community Scholars Program Coordinator
XYZ, CSP Intern

Office Hours: TBA

Application Information (Link)

Scholars' Help Pages (Link)
How-to rules, guides and advice about maintaining good standing in the program.

Are You Eligible?
If you have a Federal or Guilford Works work-study award, then you are eligible to participate in the program. Your academic year award will be listed as part of your Financial Aid Notice on Banner Web or check with the Financial Aid office.

In addition to signing your work contract with Financial Aid, Community Scholars sign an agreement with the Community Scholars Program that details student obligations in your performance as a Community Scholar. 

The agreement says
• You report to the Community Scholars Program Coordinator.
• You must complete Community Engagement Training and Project Community Practicum (which counts towards reportable contract hours).
• You agree to fulfill your hours according to your contract (because site and project coordinators are counting on you and your hours to fill out community needs).
• You must submit one written reflection per month (4x per semester).
• You must participate in one team reflection per month (4x per semester).
• You must participate in Year of Service reflection day or approved alternate activity.
• You must regularly submit accurate records of hours.

How Do I Get Started?

Check your financial aid details or go to the Financial Aid Office. Confirm that you qualify for work-study and then ask for a work-study contract.

Drop in or make an appointment to see us at the Bonner Center.

Bring the contract with you so we can discuss your interests, community sites and needs and next steps. 

Alternatively, talk to a student! Project Community Club can give you details and answer your questions, especially about time management, commitment, and if becoming a Community Scholar is "worth it". You can also check this Website to find out more about ongoing community sites and projects and student coordinators who lead them. We strongly encourage you to contact them with questions and to meet up so you can discuss details.

At the end of this process you will have 
• A signed and approved work-study contract between yourself and Financial Aid
• Dates to complete Community Engagement Training
• An appointment to meet a Project Community Club member to start your Practicum

Next, complete your Community Engagement Training. 

Then start and complete your Practicum. You'll gain a broader idea about the details of current community sites, some of which have been in operation for decades and some which are quite new. You'll work with Project Community members and meet site coordinators.

At the end of Community Engagement Training and Practicum you'll have
• Knowledge about sites and how you might contribute, practice entering your work-study hours, and who to contact if you need help.
• A signed and approved agreement between yourself and the Community Scholars Program
• Time and place on campus to report to your site or project coordinator

You're now trained and ready to join your team on-site. Your coordinator will tell you if the site's community partner requires further training upon arrival. 
• You should know the name of your community site or project coordinator and be in contact with that person.
• The coordinator will explain to you next steps, including where and when to meet for rides and transportation to the site.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How are my work-study funds disbursed?
A: Complete all your tax forms, I-9 and other documentation with Human Resources office before you begin working. To be paid you must have all paperwork in order. [Are you not sure if you've done everything you're supposed to have done? Come in and see us!} 

Tip: You can sign up online for Direct Deposit of your monthly work-study pay. This service provides you with a safe and convenient way to have your wages automatically deposited into your checking or savings account. Ask Human Resources office once you get your work-study agreement signed.

Q: How, where, and to whom do I submit my weekly hours?
A: Hours must be submitted by the 15th of each month on Banner Web. If you don't submit your hours correctly you risk not being paid! [Don't know how to do this? Come in and see us!]

Q: How many hours per week may I work?
A: This depends on your work-study award. In order to make sure your money last through the academic year, you should stick with the suggested hours per week printed on your work-study agreement. 

Tip: Keep track of how many hours you've done so you collect all the money you've been allotted.

Q: Can my work-study award carry over from one period to another?
A: Only within the academic year (Fall to Spring). Work-study award amounts are given for a single academic year. You have Fall and Spring semesters to earn the total amount.

Tip: Don't leave your unclaimed money on the table! Site and project coordinators can always need your help, so contact us immediately if you are having trouble finding a site.

Q: What are the tax implications of having a work-study job?
A: Work-Study wages are subject to the same federal, state, and local income taxes as any other earned income.

Q: Where and when will I receive my W-2 Wage and Tax Statement from the college?

A: The W-2 Wage and Tax Statement lists your total earnings and taxes for the calendar year. Your W-2 is mailed to your permanent address as listed on Banner Web.

Social Justice Issues Our Communities Face
race inequality
gender inequality
immigrant and refugee disparities
immigration reform 
quality healthcare
access to quality health care
quality education
access to education
civil rights
mental health
animal preservation 
environmental conditions
domestic violence

Is It Worth It? What Community Scholars Say...
"The Bonner Center changed the way how I saw service. As I served, I grew more aware of the social issues and connected with people who shared different experiences from myself…"

"(Success) as a (Community Scholar means) being able to develop a relationship with my community…"

"(I learned) communication is the key to every door. We need to talk more between sites and clubs to bring amazing events and programs to life…"

"(It was worth it) to see the smile on kids' faces…"  

"I enjoyed this program because it helps provide the flexibility to do the work I love rather than having to get another job that is less meaningful. I'd rather be doing service work than working in retail or fast food because it is in tune with the skill sets that I already have. The Community Scholar Program helps students to manage time and make money in a meaningful way and I have developed significant leadership skills because of it."

"Humans need help sometimes… "

"(I was) obtaining the leadership roles that impact families in the community … "

"(I enjoyed) working directly at the sites and working with Bonner folks…"

"(I experienced) the joy of working with folks and watching them learn…"

"(I appreciated) always being able to visit Glen haven and catch up with Rupa who is a 5th grader. It's amazing to see her grow up…"

"My biggest pleasure has been helping my local community by doing the tasks that I am assigned to, but making meaningful relationships with the people that I encounter at the sites that I volunteer in. Also, a highlight of this year has seeing my skills set grow and finding new passions and reinforcing the passions that I already had…"

"(I experienced) learning about myself while learning about others…"

"My work is with the Montagnard Dega (indigenous people from the Central Highlands of Vietnam) community to solve community problems and we plan to open a community center. I am currently working with the new arrivals students to help those students to learn practical English speaking, reading, writing, and pronunciation. Along with that, I am also help the Montagnard Dega to become US citizens. I opened a small citizenship fair at the International Montagnard Dega Bible Church with the help from Southeast Asian Coalition organization. The fair was successful! I will continue working with the Montagnard Dega community and will open a citizenship class soon. I also interned at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)..."

"(I learned) how people come together…"

"(I gained) the rewards of trust, respect, confidence, and impact that come with working at my site long-term…"

"CAPA Kids is an amazing site!... "

"(I appreciated) getting to see so many different kinds of students mixing and interacting at Bonner..."