We believe community engagement is meaningful work.

The Center for Community Engagement has partnered with Bellarmine's Career Development Center to leverage student employment and internship opportunities with nonprofit organizations. These experiential learning opportunities provide income and/or course credit to students who demonstrate a commitment to public service and leadership, offering valuable perspectives and skills as they pursue meaningful work post-graduation. The National Campus Compact suggests Work Study jobs in the nonprofit sector are a "best kept secret" at many institutions, and we are working to make them an integrated component of students' pathways to meaningful work.

Bellarmine Bonner Leaders Program

The Bellarmine Bonner Leaders Program upholds Bellarmine’s commitment to preparing globally fluent, engaged citizens, while addressing critical social issues related to equity and inclusion.

At Bellarmine we believe community engagement is meaningful work. Community engagement provides students an opportunity for critical self-reflection, interaction with people and communities from different backgrounds as well as valuable career exploration, skill development and networking opportunities.

The Bellarmine Bonner Leaders Program is specifically designed for students who express a commitment to community engagement and who demonstrate financial need. Bellarmine Bonners are matched with nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies that address diverse social and community issues, with an emphasis on the following areas:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Education
  • Financial Empowerment
  • Criminal Justice and Human Services

The Bellarmine Bonner Leaders Program includes up to 60 students, who serve as part-time employees at an approved nonprofit organization off-campus. The program is open to all Federal Work Study & KREBS-eligible students. Upon applying to the program, students will meet with the Center for Community Engagement to match students with an approved community partner site based on the student’s area of interest and career goals.

Bellarmine Bonners will enter a cohort of student employees dedicated to strengthening the quality of life for people and their community. Students will also have access to training sessions, workshops, and weekly seminars that address social issues and cultivate career-readiness skills.


  • All participants commit to working approximately 10 hours per week. Number of hours per week is based on the student’s total award, organization’s needs, and the student’s class schedule.
  • First-year students can expect to:
    • Spend 80% of their time working at an approved community partner organization off-campus.
    • Spend 20% of their time attending training and enrichment workshops, facilitated by the Center for Community
    • First-year students will complete a Bellarmine Bonner Orientation at the start of the academic year.
  • Engagement, where students meet and build relationships with the Bellarmine Bonner Leaders cohort.
  • All participants commit to a 4-year community engagement and leadership development pathway.


  • Students earn $9 per hour, until annual award is earned (approximately 125 hours per semester).
  • Students gain access to weekly leadership development, civic engagement, and career-readiness training.
  • Graduates join a network of nationally recognized Bonner Leader alumni and go on to make a significant impact in their professional and civic communities.

To Apply:

  • Go to Handshake and log in using your Bellarmine email and password.
  • Click on Jobs and search “Bonner Leaders Program—Student Employment Positions at Community Based Sites” or “4407183.”
  • Submit your resume and cover letter through the Handshake website.
  • The application deadline for the Class of 2025 is July 31, 2021.
  • Contact the Center for Community Engagement for application details at communityengagement@bellarmine.edu.

Bellarmine Pathways: Knights Lighting the Path for College Success

  • The Bellarmine Center for Community Engagement launched a new program entitled, Bellarmine Pathways: Knights Lighting a Path for College, in the fall 2020, which is focused on connecting current Bellarmine students with middle and high school students to help share their lived experiences with the success skills necessary for college. Bellarmine students will lead virtual and in-person sessions with groups of approximately 10-20 middle and/or high school students to explore the subjects of wellness, financial literacy, identity development, time management, communication, study skills, involvement, and major/career exploration.
  • Bellarmine students can apply for this opportunity either through Handshake as a Federal Work Study/KREBS student employee or as an academic internship if a student has 50+ credit hours. All majors are welcome to apply!
  • Register your high school student for the Bellarmine Pathways Program through the Continuing Studies page of the Bellarmine website.
    • Click "Enroll Now."
    • Click "Continue as a Guest."
    • If parents are registering students, click "Spouse or Dependent." If students are registering themselves, click "myself."
    • Click "Fall 2021 Continuing Ed."
    • Click "CE Youth."
    • Click "CEYU-570 Pathways to College."
    • Click "Add to Cart."

The Bellarmine Pathways program is a part of the Bellarmine Trustee Scholarship offering. If a middle or high school student completes the Bellarmine Pathways program and files their FASFA, they will be awarded a $1500 scholarship to Bellarmine University.

Bellarmine RISE (Road to Ignite Student Excellence) Tutoring Program

  • The Bellarmine Center for Community Engagement initiated a new program entitled, RISE tutoring, in the spring 2021, which connects Bellarmine undergraduate students with K-12 students to help meet the academic needs of local students. Bellarmine students will receive 6 hours of training before starting their virtual tutoring with BLOCS organizations partnered with Metro United Way. If a Bellarmine student trains successfully, completes 30 hours of tutoring, and submits a background check (paid for by Metro United Way), 2 letters of recommendation (1 completed by Metro United Way and 1 completed by Bellarmine CCE staff), and an unofficial transcript, they will receive the National Tutoring Certificate that is valid for 2 years.
  • Students can apply to participate in the RISE tutoring program through Handshake or register for a Plus 1 BU250 practicum that is attached to one of their current courses in order to earn an extra hour of academic credit and complete 30 hours of community engagement through tutoring.

The Value of Students Working in the Community

In 2000, The Department of Education conducted a study of the Federal Work Study program’s campus operations, which provided several statistics around student employment in the nonprofit sector.

Among Federal Work Study students employed by nonprofits:

  • 88% said they would take such jobs in the future
  • 62% said their jobs supported their academic or career goals
  • 68% said their jobs had positive effects on their academic performance
  • 81% said their experiences would result in personal community service activities in the future