Gilbert Bonafé

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Gilbert Bonafé, Jr. is the Director of Programs for Higher Edge, a nonprofit that helps high school students get into and through college. As a member of Higher Edge, Gilbert is living out his dream job – creating and overseeing programs that assist high school students through the college process. He has seen many of his family members and friends struggle economically and he aspires to help the next generation break that cycle through higher education.

A native of the Bronx, Gilbert grew up in a low-income housing district and attended Aviation High School in Long Island City, Queens. In high school, Gilbert joined a TRIO program called Upward Bound. The assistant director of Upward Bound nominated him for the Posse Scholarship, a full tuition leadership scholarship, which he received. Posse allowed him to attend Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA where he majored in Spanish. After Dickinson, Gilbert became a College Adviser for Greencastle-Antrim High School in Greencastle, PA through the College Advising Corps. Upon completing his two-year term with the College Advising Corps, Gilbert attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he received a Master’s of Education with a concentration in Higher Education.

Following Harvard, Gilbert was a member of a team that created an app for a competition to help community college students, assisted high school students through the college process under a grant at Eastern Connecticut State University, and coached adult students through an online college program called College for America.

Sponsoring Organization: College Advising Corps

“I wouldn’t have been able to make it to where I am today if it weren’t for people betting on me. I am now ready and willing to step up to the ticket window to place my bets on the next generation.”