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Inaugural Summer Leadership Cohort Takes On Capital City

This month, the Center for Community Engaged Learning & Research, in collaboration with the Career Center, kicked off the inaugural Summer Community Leaders program, an 8-week work-and-learn experience that places 12 undergraduates in meaningful, project-based non-profit internships. The inaugural class of SCL fellows was selected this spring after an intensive application and interview process, which required applicants to demonstrate leadership and/or civic engagement experience, interest in social change, ability to work with diverse populations, and professionalism, commitment, curiosity, and creativity.

On June 4, SCL fellows gathered for orientation, the first of nine weekly meetings of the cohort. The all-day training featured a workshop on professionalism, an object-based reflection on themes of social justice, and a discussion about Trenton, the hub of many of the internships. The summer’s training schedule includes noted speakers from on and off campus, reflection activities, book discussions, field trips, and lunch-and-learns.

In addition to their weekly trainings, SCL fellows receive academic support from the program’s three faculty fellows, Jessica Barnack-Tavlaris (Psychology), Diane Bates (Sociology, and Keli Fazio (Communications).

Throughout June and July, the SCL fellows will use their academic and personal skills and knowledge to address a range of issues, including homelessness, criminal justice reform, food security, and economic development.

2017 Summer Community Leaders

Lauren Barbour (Millhill Child & Family Development)
Matthew Bird (Isles, Inc.)
Kevin Brady (Arm In Arm)
Zachary Brennan (A Better Way)
Sean Fitzmaurice (Arc of Mercer)
Kristina Hansen (One Simple Wish)
Eashwayne Haughton (Academic Sports Academy)
Hannah Lemke (Trenton Area Soup Kitchen)
Michelle McCarten (MidJersey Center for Economic Development)
Genesis Rubio (HomeFront)
Adjo Somenou (NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids)
Megan Synek (Habitat for Humanity)

For more information about SCL, click here.

The Summer Community Leaders program is made possible through a Signature Experience grant awarded by the Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities, as part of TCNJ’s Strategic Plan, TCNJ 2021: Bolder, Better, Brighter. Additional funding and support is provided by the NJ Bonner AmeriCorps program.