Leslie La Bonte

Trinity Fellow Class of 2008

Graduate Program: MA, Public Service, Nonprofit Specialization

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: Spanish, Sociology, St. Norbert College

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: Badger Association of the Blind, New Program Director, Fund Development Fellow

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

AmeriCorps, 2005-2006, Wausau, WI

Service Experience:

While in AmeriCorps, I served as the School-Based Liaison for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Wausau, Wisconsin. My role was to support child development through mentoring by making consistent monthly contact with 115 matches of Bigs and Littles and planning over 30 events for all Littles and children not yet matched within 21 schools of 4 area districts. As the school based liaison, I also facilitated evaluation reports with the child’s teacher(s), designed monthly newsletters, and provided creative mentoring strategies to assist with social or academic needs. As an AmeriCorps member, I also organized multiple school-based service / educational activities for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day; served on the Housing and Selection Committee with Habitat for Humanity, participated in local neighborhood clean-ups; volunteered with a local soup kitchen; and served on the local on-call and national disaster response teams with the American Red Cross (becoming trained in logistics and procurement, shelter management, resources and assessment, etc. and responding to national flooding in 2006).

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

The Trinity Fellowship Program has provided me the opportunity to continue to grow in my ability to pursue a career in public service. My academic program, a blended study of both the public sector and nonprofits, was enhanced by my placement at the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired as the Program Development Director / Development Associate. My degree in Public Service emphasized a mixture of practical learning and theory in classes such as legal issues for nonprofits and the public sector, financial matters of nonprofits, nature of cities, public sector economics etc, and my Trinity placement experience provided me the venue to directly apply my acquired knowledge, fostering a richer learning experience.

My work projects and participation in the Badger Association’s director team meetings allowed me to hone my skills in program development, evaluation, strategic thinking, and grant writing / management. Through my experience as a fellow, I gained the confidence and leadership skills necessary to serve on a director, governance chair, and finance committee member, of a local nonprofit board. Based on the invaluable support of the Trinity Program and dedicated faculty, I was also able to integrate my study of government and knowledge of the nonprofit community into an elective practicum experience with the City of Milwaukee’s Equal Rights Commission.

The Trinity Program has been a fantastic opportunity for me to more closely integrate my passion for service into my personal and professional life. I feel blessed, and I am honored to have been a part of this program and its wonderful group of people.

Current Position:

Treatment Specialist, WI Department of Juvenile Corrections & Human Resources Project Spcialist, Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps

Trinity Fellows Class

Quick Links


Carole Ferrara, Director
(414) 288-5861

Carolyn Swabek, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0637

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473