(Posted November 19, 2001)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Alison Vargo, a junior at Juniata College studying environmental biology and Spanish and the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Vargo of Grapeville, Pa., was named a Bonner Leader by Juniata College, to honor a commitment to perform 900 hours of community service over the next two years.

Vargo is coordinating an environmental education program through the college's Raystown Field Station. Projects include hosting events at the field station, such as a recent Animal Camp that was attended by more than 100 fifth graders from several area elementary schools. Vargo is also assisting in the development of environmental education curricula to present in local schools.

Membership in Juniata's Environmental Science Society and an interest in instilling a value system regarding the natural environment drew Vargo to this program.

The Bonner Leaders program is a partnership of the Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J.; AmeriCorps; and the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs at Juniata College. Through this new program, eight students will perform 900 hours of community service over a two-year period. Bonner Leaders serve in a non-profit agency, helping to coordinate programs and recruit volunteers, for two consecutive academic years; and they have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship during their term of service.

In addition to performing direct service, the Bonner Leaders benefit from leadership training and are mentored by Juniata administrators and alumni. Depending on eligibility, most Bonner Leaders are paid through the Federal Work-Study program; and upon completion of 900 hours of service, they receive an AmeriCorps Education Award of $2,362.50.

Vargo is a 1999 graduate of Hempfield High School.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.