The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

First-Year CEL Community Partners

The CEL Institute collaborates with many community partners for a range of programming, including First-Year CEL, CEL & Advanced CEL, Community Initiatives, Internships, and Research. We value our partners as an integral part of the CEL experience. Community Engaged Learning encompasses three components: education, service, and reflection. Community partners provide TCNJ students with the opportunity to understand and respond to a community need while gaining hands on knowledge and experience. Below are the community partners involved with the First-Year CEL Experience. 

Arm in Arm 

Arm In Arm is a place where our community comes together to make sure we all have the most basic needs of food and shelter and, as possible, the livelihood to maintain them. For four decades Mercer County families have turned to Arm In Arm for essential resources like food and financial support.

Children’s Futures 

Created in 2001 by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Children’s Futures works across Central Jersey to ensure that all children and families get off to a healthy start in life. At our core, we aim to increase opportunities for health and wellness and to ward off health and social problems that can lead to a lifetime of illness and dependency.

CYO – East State Street Center 

The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO of Mercer County) is a public benefit community organization that enhances the lives of Greater Mercer County youth and their families, by providing affordable, quality, educational and recreational services. Rooted in the Catholic Tradition, the CYO provides these services in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner respecting the culture and faith of all.

East Trenton Collaborative 

The East Trenton Collaborative, operated by New Jersey Community Capital, is a community organizing and development initiative in the East Trenton neighborhood of Trenton’s North Ward. By facilitating conversations and action on community priorities, we engage partners, support businesses, and build the power of residents to make East Trenton a great place to live, work, and play.

Garden State Woman Education Foundation 

Garden State Woman is a network of women helping women. To extend that network, the Garden State Woman Education Foundation (501 © 3) was founded in 2007 to help New Jersey businesswomen and emerging young women leaders become all that they can be. They provide career and personal life guidance and important connections by: organizing diversified educational networking events, generating important content on, and providing financial and mentoring support to our scholars.

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. 

Mercer County Parks Commission

The aims of the Mercer County Park Commission shall be to provide recreation for all persons of all ages and creeds; to meet the recreational need as it exists and as it changes with the times; to serve, promote, encourage, and stimulate interests in leisure time activities for the benefit of the common wealth; to satisfy the general public at minimal cost with maximum recreational facilities, in keeping with the governmental functions; to preserve open space for the conservation of natural, historic, and scenic areas; to assist in programs dedicated to the preservation of wildlife; to participate in soil and water conservation projects; and to provide areas, facilities, personnel, finance, program, administration, and leadership to the betterment of man and woman.

Neighborhood Improvement Association

TCNJ students serve the NIA by volunteering with their Illegal Dumping Campaign where they help clean up trash from illegal dumping in Trenton. 

NJ Watershed Ambassadors Program 

For the past 20 years, the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program has played an important role in raising awareness of how human activities can affect water quality, especially in the most densely populated state in the nation. Each year, a new group of 20 Watershed Ambassadors engages with community members, channeling awareness into action. 

Rescue Mission 

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.

Sprout U School of the Arts

Sprout U School of the Arts engages children from infancy to grade 9 in joyful, meaningful and creative learning through an adventurous, experiential curriculum. Our diverse community works collaboratively cultivating excellence in academics, character, and performing arts as we prepare our students for life-long learning. We are part of a larger community of educators, dedicated to creating new and vital visions of learning.  

T.C.H.S. All-Years Scholars 

T.C.H.S All-Years Scholars mission is to provide urban children with mentorship, mental health development and fundamental basketball education.

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.

TDI Connect  

TDI Connect refurbishes computers and laptops donated by companies and schools, and distributes the computers in collaborations with Trenton non-profits to individuals and groups who do not currently have internet access. The donated computers are then refurbished by technically trained volunteers.


Center for Community Engagement
Forcina Hall, Room 337
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628