(Posted April 22, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Ryan Walstrom, a sophomore at Juniata College studying elementary and special education and the son of Allen and Donna Walstrom of Houtzdale, 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 as the co-director of a local tutoring program.

Walstrom is co-director of the Ark of Learning, a tutoring and mentoring program offered to children in grades 1 through 12 in Huntingdon. The program is sponsored by the Salvation Army. As a Bonner Leader, Walstrom recruits tutors from Juniata College and students in need of tutoring from local elementary schools, publicizes the program throughout the community, acts as a liaison between the Salvation Army and Juniata College, keeps records of tutoring sessions, and tutors students.

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 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 their 900 hours of service, they receive an AmeriCorps Education Award of $2,362.50.

Walstrom also serves as the Juniata College representative to the Bonner Congress, a national gathering of Bonner Leaders. During the summer, he will complete an internship with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP).

Walstrom is a 2000 graduate of Moshannon Valley Junior-Senior High School.

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