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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Bonner Scholar athletes: program is well worth time and commitment


The demands of college life can be intense and stressful for any student. Juggling classes, clubs, and friends is at times strenuous even for the average college student. Add to that at least 140 hours of community service per semester, extra meetings, and a sport and you have the demanding life of Guilford’s Bonner Scholar athletes.

“There are a lot of meetings. We have family Bonner meetings and then we have our site meeting where we train people and it’s just all of that, it gets really packed,” said Lily Wotkyns, junior soccer player and Bonner Scholar. “My day is always packed. I’m always at meetings, classes, and soccer. Nothing else. But it’s worth it.”

Bonner athletes have hectic schedules and numerous obligations that require their full, whole-hearted commitment. Though their schedules are jam-packed, Bonner athletes agree that it is fully worth the effort.

“It’s very worth it,” said senior soccer player Kereith Pinnock, “I wouldn’t give it up. I feel like the Bonner program has done so much for me. It pretty much allows me to [attend Guilford] so that’s where my real responsibility lies. It’s definitely worth it.”

“Definitely [worth it],” said Wotkyns. “Love it. Love the people. I can’t stress enough how fun it is. We may work a lot, but it’s for the fun and for the other people. We all have a goal to change someone’s life.”

Some may think twice about whether a student could be successful in the Bonner program while also balancing the regular demands of college and playing a sport. Director of the Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning James Shields does not give preferential treatment to Bonner athletes.

“That being said some of our best students have been athletes,” said Shields. “They understand the importance of discipline, disciplining themselves. They understand the importance of working within the confines of a system.”

The Bonner Scholar program has around 60 members at Guilford, 13 of whom are also athletes.

“Not enough hours in the day, I guess,” said Pinnock when asked about the drawbacks of the program. “It’s a big balancing act with soccer, homework and Bonner but I feel like once you get your time management down it’s not too bad. But it is a time commitment.”

        Though the downside of a large time commitment seemed to be a common thread, there was also agreement that it was all well worth it.

“I feel like being a Bonner has allowed me to find something that I really care about at Guilford and really work with that,” said Pinnock. “It’s given me I guess a greater purpose over the last three years.”

The appreciation and connection these athletes felt with the Bonner program was deeply apparent, and what they gain from it seems to far outweigh what they give up.

Wotkyns succinctly summed up this feeling, saying, “Bonner love all the way.”

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