TCNJ Bonner Scholars and Volunteers dedicate their time to serving with our partners listed below. Bonner Partners provide training and skills development, while the Bonners provide dedicated and consistent service over four years. We focus on three main issue areas: Youth Education, Environment & Food Security, and Adult Education & Self Sufficiency.
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.
Boys and Girls Club
Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County provides young people, ages 5 to 18, in Mercer County with social, enrichment and recreational activities through after-school, weekend, and summer programs. Our Boys & Girls Clubs after school and enrichment programs focus on improving youth outcomes in education & careers, character development & leadership, and developing healthy lifestyles through physical activity and healthy living.
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.
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
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.
TRIO Upward Bound is an educational program offered during the summer and academic year for high school students from low-income families; and families in which neither parent holds a bachelors degree. The goal of TRIO Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary school and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.
Environment & Food Security
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.
TCNJ Environmental Sustainability Council
Bonner Scholars work with the TCNJ Environmental Sustainability Council, which is dedicated to 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 Friends 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.
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.
Adult Education & Self Sufficiency
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.
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.
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 Streetlight 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.
Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF)
The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LALDEF) is a grassroots nonprofit organization formed to defend the civil rights of Latin Americans and facilitate their access to health care and education, as well as to advance cross-cultural understanding in the Mercer County area.