Bonner leader fills schedule with service opportunities

by Caitlyn Starkey

Sophomore Hannah Crawford is a spunky blond, filled with a passion for service and a full schedule to prove it.

Crawford grew up hearing about Whitworth from her dad and family friend Whitworth Trustee Clark Donald.

“They were always like ‘Hey, Whitworth is great,’” Crawford said.

She then had the opportunity to see the Whitworth choir on its Christmas tour. She said she loved the music and knew that Whitworth had a strong English program, her major area of interest.

“At that point I was a choir nerd,” she said.

She applied to Whitworth and was accepted. She said she received the best financial aid, making her decision clear. However, she never visited campus before attending.

“My first day on campus was the first day of Traditiation,” Crawford said.

But the gamble paid off, and Crawford has come to love the campus and the community, she said.

Crawford is an English major and a communications minor, but said she is currently debating between the writing and literature tracks.

“I have always been kind of a bookworm but wasn’t interested in the classics until later,” she said.

However, she is currently looking at a career in publishing or freelance writing, making the decision between literature or writing undecided.

“I acknowledge that having an English degree will make me a poor woman,” Crawford said.

Though Whitworth campus may be her current home, Crawford said her family is slightly nontraditional. Until her junior year of high school, she only had two siblings.

“I grew up with just two—my older brother [who is 21] and younger brother who is 15,” Crawford said.

But in 2008, her family adopted Annamarie, now 13, Naomi, now 6, and David, now 3, from Ghana.

“It’s hard to picture my family before them,” Crawford said. “I love them.”

With a loving family at home, Crawford has adopted another family on campus. She is employed as one of the Taylor’s nannies.

“It’s great,” she said. “At points I feel like they are my family away from home.”

The Taylor’s youngest daughter Chloe is one year younger than Crawford’s youngest sister. She likes having that sisterly connection, she said.

Crawford has a passion and drive to serve others and her involvement with a chapel worship team, En Christo and Bonner Leaders shows it.

She started at En Christo last December when a friend, junior Michelle Slate, invited her. Slate was leaving for a Jan Term trip and asked Crawford to temporarily replace her as lunch making assistant. Now Crawford has moved up and is the lunch making coordinator.

“En Christo is a great way to get off campus and serve,” she said.

En Christo helped Crawford get connected with Bonner Leaders. Junior Katie Apland was involved with En Christo and encouraged Crawford to look into it.

“Bonner leaders make a two-year commitment to a community-service and leadership-development program, during which they complete a minimum of 300 hours of service as work-study students and/or Americorps members. Together, the Bonner lead- ers have provided 45,730 hours of service to Spokane County since the inception of the program,” according to Whitworth’s Service-Learning website.

“Currently my main locations are En Christo and Rockwood Retirement,” Crawford said. “It’s like having 100 grandparents.”

Crawford has a full schedule of English classes and service with En Christo and Bonner Leaders. How does she do it all?

“I’m a secret ninja but don’t tell anyone,” Crawford said with a laugh.

Contact Caitlyn Starkey at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *