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Bonner AmeriCorps VISTA

In partnership with the Bonner Foundations and Rutgers University, the Center is leading a team of 12 VISTA workers who are working on various anti-poverty projects. Locally, TCNJ Bonner secured a no-cost employee for four community partners (Isles, TASK, PEI Kids, Rescue Mission); each employee will develop alternative and sustainable revenue streams that will help them create jobs for their program participants.

The NJ Bonner AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows program is currently recruiting new members to begin in November! For more information, click here.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed to specifically fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years. VISTA Members commit to serve full-time for a year at a community based organization or institution working to fight poverty.

Bonner VISTA – Economic and Community Development

VISTA members working at the Bonner Center office will look at the spending practices of anchor institutions, such as The College of New Jersey, and what access local vendors have in the city. One goal is to see if there are opportunities to connect local institutions and companies in a way to create jobs for patrons of our anti-poverty community partner sites. Other VISTA members will take stock of the emerging jobs, training programs linked to those jobs, and again, how local Bonner partner program participants can access both.

VISTA members will also address economic and employment development, nutrition, volunteer development, and local policy in the Trenton area. Our AmeriCorps VISTA positions offer an excellent opportunity to develop concrete working skills and knowledge, while networking with top executives in the non-profit, government and for-profit sectors.

Bonner VISTA – Non-profit Community Partners

In partnership with the Bonner Foundation, the Center is leading a team of VISTA workers who are working on various anti-poverty projects. Locally, TCNJ Bonner secured capacity building VISTA’s for ten community partners (Isles Inc., Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, NJ School Age Care Coalition, Trenton Central High School,  Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, PEI Kids, Shiloh CDC, Henry J. Austin Health Center, Office of the Attorney General and the NJ Juvenile Justice Commission); each will develop alternative and sustainable initiatives that will help create and expand capacity for their program participants.

Cities of Service

How can we mobilize a new cadre of citizen volunteers from Trenton—and help them address some of the city’s most pressing problems or concerns? The Center has been asked by the New Jersey VISTA office to bring together local stakeholders to develop a blueprint and help advance this national effort. Started by Mayor Bloomberg in New York, this project could build upon the existing higher education service system locally, by providing volunteers when college is not in session. The Bonner Center at TCNJ has two VISTA members who have launched and coordinate the Cities of Service, here in Trenton, NJ.

To learn more about the Bonner AmeriCorps VISTA Initiative, contact Heather Camp at hcamp@tcnj.edu.

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