The following 17 community partners, organized by issue area, are supported by teams of Bonner Community Scholars who develop and execute site plans that address the organizations’ needs and interests. In addition to these 17 sites, the CELR Center regularly collaborates with dozens of other agencies on class-based projects, Community Engaged Learning Days, internships, and other projects.
Academic Sports Academy
The Greg Grant 94ft Academic Sports Academy is a nonprofit after school program designed to foster learning through rigorous academic tutoring as well as through basketball training that stresses high expectations for students. Bonner Scholars help run the after-school program, whether through teaching classes, helping students complete their homework, organizing community service projects, or creating art programs and more.
Trenton Central High School
Bonner Scholars that work with Trenton Central High School team and engage in tutoring and mentoring activities, as well as a new project focused on providing comprehensive information about the programs and services available throughout the School District. In addition, they mobilize other volunteers and TCNJ professors to help TCHS students succeed in their academic and personal lives.
Youth Development Institute at Hedgepeth-Williams School
Bonner Scholars run the Youth Development Institute throughout the academic year in partnership with Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School. The program includes the participation of TCNJ students and professors. Bonner Scholars also develop life-skills and writing workshops that are taught through sports, such as Hoops Skills and Track Academics, or literature, such as the Sixth Grade Writing Project.
Environment and Public Health Division
The Bonner Institute collaborates with Fernbrook Farm Educational Center, a not-for-profit organization that provides youth in inner-city areas, such as Trenton, educational opportunities to learn about the importance of the environment, sustainability and health. Bonner Scholars work with Fernbrook to develop opportunities for youth in Trenton, as well as build up the capacity of the not-for-profit portion of the Farms.
President’s Climate Commitment Committee
Bonner Scholars work with the President’s Climate Commitment Committee (PC3), which is dedicated the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality for our campus. It gives tangible actions that we will initiate in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Students develop and execute campus-wide projects including recycling initiatives, Reduce for Good Use campaigns, and a tree mapping project.
The Bonner Environmenl Team partners with the Sustainability Institute, a “think and do” tank that manages a number of cutting edge research and outreach programs focused on sustainable development, including the award winning Sustainable Jersey Certification Program. Its mission is to advance sustainable development through research, outreach, and training. The goal of the Bonner Environment Team is to create a greener world in our towns and on our campus, and does so by working with municipalities and their municipal Green Teams across the state on specific projects. Click here to read about the accomplishments of the 2013-2014 Academic Year.
TCNJ Campus Garden
Constructed by Bonners and volunteers in April 2010, the team maintains the TCNJ Campus Garden, including weeding, watering and planting fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. This community garden provides food for Mercer Street Friends Food Bank as well as a space to build community and educate. In 2013, the garden was relocated to its current site, on the south end of campus. As part of the Bonner partnership with PC3, and with support from TCNJ’s Department of Biology and the Facilities and Grounds staff, the garden represents an innovative and educational space for the TCNJ and surrounding community.
Self Sufficiency Division
El Centro de Recursos Para Familias
El Centro de Recursos Para Familias is a multi-service, family-focused community resource center and community building program serving Mercer County with special emphasis on meeting the needs of the Latino community in Trenton. Bonner Scholars work with El Centro to teach three levels of basic language/pre-ESL classes twice a week to families in an effort for them to achieve self-sufficiency and confidence in their language skills. The Bonner Scholar team also facilitates critical conversations around the immigration issue on campus by hosting panels and Immigration Monologues.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Trenton is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Besides providing assistance towards the building of homes in the area, Bonner Scholars are also working on marketing and outreach projects for Habitat for Humanity. Bonners assist in the Learning Lab hosted at the organization and provide mentoring to their participants. They recruit other TCNJ student to volunteer at the agency and lead resource development activities.
Trenton Area Soup Kitchen
The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) is a private, non-sectarian, charitable organization that depends almost entirely on the help of dedicated volunteers and generous financial support from individuals, churches, local businesses and community organizations. TASK provides more than 3,000 free meals per week to people in need in the Trenton area, and provides a variety of social services to help individuals become self-sufficient. Bonner Scholars regularly serve on the food line, as well as tutor GED students. They are also help register patrons into the food stamp program, staff the pantry, and organize various drives as well as enrichment programs.
The Wall is a newspaper that is produced for and with the homeless. This is a major collaborative effort that involves journalism professors, journalism students, volunteers and a few community partners (including the Mercer Alliance, TASK, and the Rescue Mission). Bonner Scholars fill the top management positions and Alliance staff members are the publishers, helping with the weekly supervisory tasks as well.
Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Reentry Division
Mercer County Correctional Center
Mercer County Correctional Center is a short-term jail facility that confines both men and women with Minimum, Medium, and Maximum-security classifications. At this facility, two professional staff facilitate Socrates Café group meetings, a philosophical thought provoking conversation on a weekly basis that provides inmates the opportunity for critical thinking and reflection. During the fall, First Year Seminar professors connect their students to this group for their Community Engaged Learning Day.
PEI Kids is Mercer County’s premier organization focused on issues related to violence and children, whether it is the egregious insult of violence on children or children so incredibly overwhelmed with social, familial and peer pressures that they themselves turn to violent and unlawful behavior. PEI Kids provides primary prevention, education and intervention programs to help keep the children in our community safe. Bonner Scholars work alongside staff and help deliver a life-skills curriculum to juvenile offenders. They also develop and organize additional enrichment and educational projects.
The Rescue Mission of Trenton is the agency in the City of Trenton that serves the truly needy men and women who have no place to turn for shelter, food, and clothing. The Mission provides a safe, clean, warm, refuge for the homeless, the hungry, the transient and the addicted. Bonner Scholar Entrepreneurs are supporting the Rescue Mission by selling the Mission Store’s items to a niche market – the campus community – and donating the profits back to the Rescue Mission (The Thrift Project). Along with the Environment Team, Bonner Scholars work with TCNJ community on the clothing drives. Bonner Scholars are also assist with other projects at the Rescue Mission such as providing GED tutoring to patrons.
Shiloh Baptist Community Development Corporation
Shiloh Baptist Community Development Corporation is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about change in the community through the delivery of services that positively affect Education, Community Relations, Crime, Substance Abuse, Health Care, Employment, Housing and Economic development. Bonner Scholars currently assist with the various projects at the Shiloh CDC, including helping manage mentoring programs, running tutoring sessions with youth, and organizing events and enrichment days for the Shiloh community. Shiloh has also hosted several Advanced Community Engaged Learning courses, including a class focused on capturing the history of Trenton through an oral history project.