The following Divisions consist of over 15 site-based teams made up of Bonner Community Scholars that work with community partners throughout Mercer, Burlington and Hunterdon Counties. Division staff coordinators collaborate with the Bonner Scholars to develop and execute site plans that address their needs and interests of the community with which they work. In addition to the Bonner Community Partner Network the Institute works with approximately 10 additional agencies on a regular basis on class-based projects or stand alone Community Engaged Learning Days.
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 High School – Bridge to Employment (BTE)
- Develop and lead workshops around the topics of academic achievement, higher education access, and career readiness
- Develop and lead workshops to help build a strong BTE community
- Mentor and tutor students
- Act as liaison between students and community resources
- Connect students to different programs within the high school
- Host special events on campus
- Chaperone monthly trips
- Chaperone additional special events
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.
Meals on Wheels Mercer County
Meals on Wheels of Mercer County is a private, non-profit organization committed to providing nutritious meals and related services which are designed to promote the independence, dignity, health and wellbeing of our homebound customers. We deliver meals to homebound individuals in the Mercer County area with the help of a large group of committed volunteers. Bonner Community Scholars deliver meals and support homebound individuals in Trenton and the region.
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.
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 the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen as well as a space to build community and educate urban youth. In 2013, the garden was relocated to its current site, on the south end of campus. With help from PC3 and Buildings and Grounds staff, an eight-foot fence was installed, the soil was tilled, and water access has been provided.
Mercer Street Food Bank
The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank leads the community response to hunger in Mercer County. They are the primary source of government and privately donated food targeted for hunger relief programs in the county. The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank channels 2.7 million pounds of food and groceries annually to a network of 80 local food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, meal sites, schools, senior and disabled programs and low-income housing sites. Their food distribution and hunger prevention programs reach over 30,000 people who face hunger.
Anchor House Inc. seeks to reduce youth homelessness by providing housing and services to prepare youth to live productive and independent lives. Anchor House programs provide emergency shelter and residential services providing food, clothing and a safe environment, and crisis intervention, individual, family and group counseling, medical, dental and mental health care. All youth receive life skills education, prevention education, educational preparation and counseling, job preparation skills and aftercare. The organization help them build a support system, gain the life skills they need to be successful, address physical and mental health issues, learn how to advocate for themselves and peers, and plan for a brighter future.
Jones Farm DOC
Jones Farm is an all-male minimum security facility. The volunteers at Jones Farm tutor one-on-one in the classroom during class time. Tutors can volunteer Monday-Friday 8:15-10:15 am or 12:15-2:30 pm. Bonners and TCNJ volunteers do service at Jones Farms under the direction of Mr. Bianchini and in conjunction with the Petey Greene Program. The Petey Greene Program supplements education in correctional institutions by preparing volunteers, primarily college students, to provide free, quality tutoring and related programming to support the academic achievement of incarcerated people.
Trenton Urban Promise
UrbanPromise Trenton provides youth and teens with a chance to believe in, and build, a positive future. Their mission is to equip Trenton’s youth with the skills necessary for: Academic Achievement, Life Skills and Spiritual Growth.
HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community. We lessen the immediate pain of homelessness and help families become self-sufficient. We work to give our clients the skills and opportunities to ensure adequate incomes, and we work to increase the availability of adequate, affordable housing. We help homeless families advocate for themselves individually and collectively.
Since its inception, HomeFront has worked to break the cycle of poverty. We have developed a holistic array of services for clients who are homeless or at high risk. Over 7,000 heads of households walk through our front door looking for help each year. On any given night, over 475 reside in HomeFront’s emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent service-enriched housing. Two-thirds are children. Some of our services include case management, homelessness prevention services (rental arrears assistance), emergency food, clothing and household goods at our FreeStore, job placement and readiness skills. Programming for children includes our child development center, summer camp, after-school tutoring and recreational, enriching and educational activities. We wrap each desperate family into care, and it is because of the depth of service that these clients can stabilize their lives.
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.
Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy
The Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy (TVRS) is a collaborative project between The College of New Jersey (Center for Community Engaged Learning & Research), The Trenton Police Department, and local social service providers – including UIH Family Partners and Family Guidance amongst others. Funded by the Office of the Attorney General, the goal of TVRS are to change the criminogenic behavior of a targeted population identified by the Trenton Police Department. Bonner Community Scholars support the efforts of TVRS outreach workers.
The Arc Mercer is a grassroots, family focused organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to achieve their goals. We believe everyone is a valued, contributing member of our community at large. Our focus is to provide those we serve with the resources, support, and services needed to reach their highest level of independence regardless of diagnosis, and at all stages of life. Bonner Scholars design and support programming for the Arc Mercer community.
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.
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.