For Immediate Release
December 5, 2005
Federal Grant to Support TCNJ Community Service Initiatives
EWING, NJ…The Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) has received a $337,280 Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) grant to support its unique public service mission. The Bonner Center houses and implements TCNJ programs that seek to develop, support, and expand campus/community collaborations while engaging students in activities that increase their practical understanding of the many compelling issues facing our society.
The hallmark initiative of the Center is its Bonner Community Scholars Program, which offers scholarship funding of full tuition to approximately 10 TCNJ students from every incoming class who perform 280 hours of community service each academic year. The students also participate in curricular and cocurricular work that enables them to grow as leaders and citizens. Bonner Scholars are selected by TCNJ on the basis of their public service activities in advance of application to the College as well as their desire to further develop community leadership skills. “We are looking for a special group of individuals, people who have demonstrated exceptional civic awareness and want go beyond the comfort of a college campus and participate in a practical learning experience that will engage them in pressing social issues,” explained Lisa Angeloni, TCNJ’s dean of admissions.
“Colleges and universities often award scholarships for excellence, whether in academics, athletics, or some other endeavor,” said Wayne Meisel, president of the Bonner Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works nationally with colleges and universities to address societal issues. “TCNJ’s Bonner Community Scholars program rewards excellence in public service and, in my estimation, is one of the strongest commitments to service-based scholarships in the country.”
The FIPSE grant, combined with the support received from The College of New Jersey and generous donors, will allow the Bonner Center to continue and enhance the innovative and socially conscious programs that are benefiting TCNJ students and the external community, according to Dr. David Prensky, Bonner Center director.
Those initiatives include the Nonprofit Management Program, which offers training in areas such as strategic thinking, governance issues, advocacy and political action, grant writing, fundraising, and program evaluation to executives from non-profit organizations; the AmeriCorps Bonner Leaders Program, which enables TCNJ students to participate in team-based service projects and an experiential learning curriculum that includes training modules on civic engagement, community building, social justice, diversity, and skill development; and Entrepreneurship for the Public Good, a speaker/workshop series that focuses on the realities and rewards of establishing entities that serve the public good.
The College of New Jersey has an extensive history of community engagement, with a formal service-learning initiative dating back more than 10 years. All TCNJ students are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of service at area non-profits like the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Hummanity, and Mercer Street Friends, and, since 1995, have provided those and at least 22 other organizations with more than 70,000 hours of service.
For more information about the Bonner Center or its programs, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609.771.2548.