Bonner Community Partners

Community Partners

Our approach to civic learning and community engagement is inclusive and integrative.

We believe in educating the whole person and that learning occurs in multiple contexts and developmentally over time. Learning doesn’t stop at graduation and neither does our work. Our Common Commitments to express the values we explore and share as an organization, national network and community of practice. Below you will find a few of the partners where Bonner Scholars are involved.

  • Social justice
  • Civic engagement
  • Community-building
  • Spiritual exploration
  • International perspectives
  • Diversity

Community Partners

Rockbridge Area Recreational Association

Rockbridge Area Recreational Association (RARO) leads some athletic activities for youth in the area. Volunteers have served with River Runners, a cross country club for young kids. They coach practices, games, and races for the kids and make sure things are fun and running smoothly.

Rockbridge County High School

RCHS has around 1000 high school students from Rockbridge County and Lexington and offers a wide variety of classes. Volunteers have worked in various capacities at the high school: as a tutor, mentor, or as a club leader. Past students have helped high schoolers navigate the college application process and served as tutors.

Rockbridge Regional Library System

The Rockbridge Regional Library System is a group of local libraries that promote learning and reading. Their Lexington headquarters is within walking distance of campus and they operate a bookmobile that travels throughout Rockbridge County. Volunteers help with their youth literacy program and meet with elementary students to improve reading skills.


The Rockbridge branch of the YMCA supports the community with a gym, pool, and exercise programs. Children benefit from after-school programs and participate in activities such as soccer and gymnastics. Volunteers help in the after school and enrichment programs and help coach sports teams.

Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road is an early learning center supporting children from infancy to pre-k. It offers affordable childcare with need-based scholarships for children in the immediate area. Volunteers typically serve as teacher aides in their classes and help facilitate activities for the students.

Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center

Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center serves children and families who are faced with unique learning challenges, specifically autism and learning disabilities, in and around the Roanoke Valley. Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) serve students ages 2-22.

English Speakers of Other Languages

The mission of the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program is to facilitate communication within the increasingly diverse population in Rockbridge County. Although ESOL has focused on the Latina/o community, the program works with speakers of all languages.

Head Start Program

Head Start, the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States, is one of TAP's oldest and largest programs. TAP Head Start currently serves Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Rockbridge, and Roanoke Counties and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, Lexington, Roanoke, and Salem.

Office on Youth After-School Program

The purpose of the Office on Youth is to help other youth serving agencies in the City of Lexington provide programs for students in Lexington and its environs. The Office on Youth provides two direct service programs in a drug-free and intimidation-free environment.

Rockbridge Area Health Center

The Rockbridge Area Health Center (RAHC) has a sliding scale for fees and provides primary, dental and behavioral healthcare for the community members. Volunteers help in various positions at RAHC with some people helping bridge the gap between the health center and the clients through surveys and such work.

Rockbridge Area Hospice

Rockbridge Area Hospice is a local nonprofit that provides hospice care for terminally ill patients in the Rockbridge area and the surrounding communities. Volunteer opportunities might include administrative tasks or directly interacting with the clients at their homes.

Carilion Clinic

The Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital provides basic medical services like scans and emergency services, as well as some specialized services. Volunteers have served in different parts of the hospital and have sometimes worked with the clients themselves.


“Horses helping people.” has been Hoofbeat’s guiding principle since 1993. They offer accredited therapeutic horseback riding services to adults and children in Rockbridge, Virginia and neighboring communities. Hoofbeats serves people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities, trauma, or chronic diseases and a limited number of able-bodied riders.

Rockbridge Area Relief Association

The Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA) is the largest not-for-profit organization alleviating hunger and addressing poverty in the Rockbridge area. Headquartered in Lexington, Virginia, the Food Pantry and Helpline serve Rockbridge County and the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington.

The Community Table

The Community Table (TCT) is a ‘restaurant without a cash register’ that works to address food insecurity in the area. Restaurant-quality meals are provided to people free of charge. Volunteers have many different roles at TCT ranging from hosts, servers or as a part of the clean-up crew.

The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University

The mission of The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) is to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities through food. At the CKWL, we combat hunger and promote nutrition by recovering and reusing food that would otherwise go to waste into balanced meals for low-income members of the community in Rockbridge County.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. They work to eliminate substandard housing in Rockbridge County by partnering with the community to make safe, decent, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action.

Project Horizon

Project Horizon is dedicated to reducing domestic, dating, and sexual violence in the Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County area through crisis intervention services and prevention programs.

The Williams School

Student Consulting is offered by university students to businesses and non-profits in the local community and elsewhere. The students are put into groups and matched with an organization which they usually work with for a semester. The group helps the organizations in different areas like marketing or human resources. Students have to apply to the program.

Engineering Community Development

The Engineering Community Development (ECD) Club at W&L combines the efforts of not only engineering students, but of all majors and interests in order to enhance the living conditions of developing communities locally and worldwide. As an Engineering World Health (EWH) chapter, the ECD club will promote biomedical engineering skills for the developing world.

The Immigrant Rights Clinic

The Immigrant Rights Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law enlists student attorneys as the primary legal representatives for non-citizen clients in immigration matters. The IRC has the dual goal of helping student attorneys develop the skills, values, and knowledge necessary to succeed in the practice of law, and to provide much needed legal services to the underserved immigrant population in south and central Virginia.

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