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TCNJ Bonner Institute Receives $40,000 Grant from Fund for New Jersey to Support the Trenton Prevention Policy Board

EWING, NJ – The College of New Jersey’s Center for Community Engaged Learning and its Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement have received a $40,000 grant from the Fund for New Jersey to increase the capacity of the Trenton Prevention Policy Board, a local network that is focused on promoting positive youth development and preventing juvenile delinquency in the capitol city. The grant will allow staff to create teaching and learning opportunities that simultaneously address the needs of the community.

“Our students will have the chance to sharpen their research skills and deepen their understanding of complex social problems while they facilitate focus groups with young Trentonians and other residents. These focus groups will help residents and youth have their voices heard during the policy development process,” according to Patrick Donohue, Assistant Provost for Community Engaged Learning Programs and Partnerships, who oversees the Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, among other programs.

The Trenton Prevention Policy Board, established in 2010 by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office of Community Justice as part of statewide effort known as the Municipal Policy Planning Board Initiative. Since its founding, the Board has evolved into both a policy and collective impact project.

Each month, Local stakeholders gather together with academic experts to share their knowledge about policies, programs, services, and best practices so they can make informed recommendations aim at reducing juvenile delinquency. The members of TPPB are organized into six issue-based working groups. The members of each group collaborate with another to implement one recommendation or project on an annual basis. One working group, for example, is working with a local church to establish a faith-based safe haven in a neighborhood that faces many challenges. Another is focusing on creating trauma response units that can respond to the needs of residents on specific blocks in the aftermath of a shooting.

According to Marygrace Billek, Director of Mercer County’s Division of Health and Human Services and one of the Board’s co-chairs, its largest success story to date was the creation of the Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy (TVRS). The innovative strategy was developed by a working group of TPPB members in collaboration with faculty from Rutgers-Camden, based on a hybrid of the Boston and Chicago models of Operation Ceasefire. After the idea was recommended by the TPPB Juvenile Delinquency Working Group, a committee of writers, led by Detective Alexis Durlacher, submitted and obtained a $1.1 million grant from the Attorney General’s Office to implement the TVRS initiative.

Wanda Moore, the Director of the Attorney General’s Office of Community Justice, commented that “TCNJ and the leaders of the TPPB have established an exceptional model for others who are interested in seeing how campus and community partnerships can work together and have a significant impact on some of our most challenging public problems.

Jason Rogers, another TPPB co-chair and leader of Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton, echoes that sentiment, “This is the one place where individuals at the grassroots who want to make a difference can be heard, and if they stay involved, really help the city. We are proud to be a part of the next phase of this project.

TCNJ’s Bonner Institute has been the lead facilitator agency of the TPPB since 2011, connecting the grassroots expertise in the community with the on-campus resources and knowledge. Madeline Bell is the Coordinator of the Board and the participating faculty include Drs. Diane Bates, He Len Chung, Sandy Gibson, Stuart Roe, Bruce Stout, and Shaun Wiley.

“No Vacancy” Exhibit Opening Friday at TrentonWorks Art Gallery

TRENTON - A picture can speak a thousand words, and through photojournalism, it can retell entire stories that may have otherwise been lost over time. On Friday, August 1st, The College of New Jersey’s TrentonWorks Art Gallery will present the opening of “No Vacancy,” an exhibition that will highlight the role that photojournalism has played inContinue Reading

Wells Fargo Bonner Education Brigade Wraps Up Another Successful Year

EWING, NJ – The College of New Jersey has officially wrapped up another successful year of Community Engaged Learning and working with the greater Trenton community on a variety of issues, including youth development and education. This past year year, TCNJ received a $25,000 grant from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation in support of theContinue Reading

AmeriCorps*VISTA Positions Available

The following AmeriCorps*VISTA positions through the Bonner VISTA Fellows program. Applications are being accepted through June 24, 2014. To apply, please click the links below. The New Jersey Bonner VISTA Fellow Program is a post-college national volunteer service program developed in partnership of The Center for Community Engaged Learning & Research at The College ofContinue Reading

Bonner Scholars Participate in Solar Panel Project for Tanzania

  David Sanchez, Bonner Community Scholar, Class of 2016 PRINCETON, NJ – In addition to serving the local Trenton and Ewing communities, Bonner scholars take regular strides to engage with the global community as well. At the end of the fall semester, Bonner Scholars Aman Gill and David Sanchez attended the WE SHARE Solar conferenceContinue Reading

Trenton Cities of Service Mobilizes Area Residents to Serve on King Holiday

TRENTON, NJ – 200 Trenton residents, AmeriCorps, VISTA, TCNJ students, TCHS, and Isles YouthBuild students are expected to turn out on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Volunteers will sort clothes, prepare sandwiches, paint murals, and participate in other beautification projects at local nonprofits in the city. Volunteers will serve at local nonprofitContinue Reading

First Year TCNJ Bonner Scholars Travel to New Orleans

EWING, NJ – Today First Year Bonner Community Scholars are leaving for an eight-day trip to New Orleans, LA for a service and enrichment experience that is a principal part of the TCNJ Bonner Scholars program. Students will learn about Hurricane Katrina, the impact the hurricane had on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region, theContinue Reading

TCNJ Bonner Center Receives $25,000 Grant from Wells Fargo Foundation

EWING, NJ – The College of New Jersey has officially wrapped up another successful year of Community Engaged Learning and working with the greater Trenton community on a variety of issues, including youth development and education. This year, TCNJ received a $25,000 grant from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation in support of the Bonner CommunityContinue Reading

Community Engaged Learning Fall 2013 Projects: Multicultural New York

EWING, NJ – The TCNJ Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement mobilized First Year Students for their Community Engaged Learning (CEL) graduation requirement through class-based projects connected with their Freshmen Seminar Program (FSP) classes. This year, the Bonner Center worked with faculty on over 40 FSP courses to connect community engaged learning projects withContinue Reading

Assistant Provost Pat Donohue and Professor Sandy Gibson Present at ACES 2013 National Conference on TCNJ’s Collaboration with the Trenton Prevention Policy Board Initiative

DENVER, CO – A delegation of representatives from The College of New Jersey traveled to Denver, CO in October to attend and present at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s annual, national conference. The conference, which took place from October 16th through October 20th, focused on “promoting unity while affirming diversity.” Dr. Sandy GibsonContinue Reading