Anthony Bonner Jr.

Career Counselor/Case Manager

Anthony Bonner II, a native of Rockford, IL, is an entrepreneur, community youth leader and advocate, motivational speaker, author, and former collegiate athlete. 

Anthony grew up in a low middle class house for the majority of his life where he enjoyed camping with his father, learning to cook and developing a love for words with his mother, and excelling in athletics (primarily basketball and track). At the age of 18, the divorce of his parents would lead to a series of life long lessons in teaching him how to survive and thrive during any circumstance. As a result of the divorce of his parents, Anthony found himself homeless and unable to play college basketball which caused a great deal of stress, depression and him using illegal substances, getting involved illegal activities and deviant behaviors to cope with his new reality. During the lowest part of his life, Anthony sought out mentors and positive groups to help him get out of his circumstances. The mentors that came into Anthony’s life sparked a passion in him for helping youth who were labeled at-risk or were diagnosed with a behavioral and/or mental health disorder.   Anthony decided to take a risk and enroll at Iowa State University where the institution provided him not only with a high quality education in Human Sciences, but provided him with housing and food due to learning of him being homeless. Although college was challenging, Anthony learned how to be disciplined, communicate with professionals, and use his creativity and past life experiences to help various youth organizations and the youth and families that they served.

Favorite Quote: “Never be a prisoner of your past; it was a life lesson, not a life sentence” 

Email me at abonner@youthbuildrockford.org