Bonnie Keller selected for 2015 Newman Civic Fellows

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Bonnie Keller selected for 2015 Newman Civic Fellows

Samantha Hirschman

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Samantha Hirschman | Assistant News Co-Editor

Bonnie Keller, a third-year student, is one of 200 students chosen and one of seven students in Iowa to be selected for the Newman Civic Fellows Award.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors students who “have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.”

Keller was nominated by Ashley Farmer-Hansen. From there, Keller needed to write a personal statement, and President Fred Moore wrote a Letter of Recommendation on her behalf. Keller expresses great love for children and service.

“Service has been instilled in me from a young age,” Keller said.

She explains that her favorite part is the relational aspect. Her inspiration is the smiles she sees on the faces of those she is helping. As a people-person, she loves making the connections with people.

“We all go through the same emotions, just at different calibers. We are all human. We all go through the same things. We just experience them at different calibers,” Keller said.

At a young age, Keller’s mother took her to a variety of service events, including serving at church dinners. Keller was a Girl Scout for 13 years. While she was a Girl Scout, her troop adopted a park and would lead younger troops. Since she was nine years old, she has been involved with Challenger League, in which she helps young boys with special needs play baseball. She’s also been involved with Mayors Youth Commission, where individuals would go to a Goodwill Shoe Party and kids would receive a hat, scarf, gloves, and, most importantly, shoes.

To continue giving, Keller has participated in BV Buddies as a mentor, Student MOVE as the Co-VP of AWOL, Student Activities Board as the VP of Homecoming, and Students Caring about Tomorrow’s Environment as the VP. She has also participated in volunteer work on Buenafication Day and was part of the Buenafication Day Board.

In his recommendation, President Moore wrote this about Keller:

“Bonnie has played a key role in mobilizing over 80 students in 5,000 hours of service. Ms. Keller has dedicated herself to making communities better, but she is always recognizing that it takes a team of committed leaders and agents of change to make an impact.”

Keller has also participated in Alternative Week of Offsite Learning (AWOL) for the three years she has been here. Her freshman year she was a participant, but the last two years, she has served as a Site Leader. Each year she went, she participated in a variety of service activities.

In her personal statement, she stated:

“Service has and always will be a priority in my life. Getting to see individuals grow and expand their knowledge on issues that they will be faced with both here and in the future is what I love makes service so great. Service is a self-transformational experience that has allowed me to gain and strengthen hard and soft skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”

Photo by Krystal Schulte