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Youth Development - TCNJ

Page history last edited by pdonohue@tcnj.edu 11 years, 6 months ago


 Summary of Campus Issue Profiles 

  Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 


Specific Issue Areas

  •  Youth Development


This page includes those activities that fall within the scope of the following definition of youth development:  "...the ongoing growth process in which all youth are engaged in attempting to (1) meet their basic personal and social needs to be safe, feel cared for, be valued, be useful, and be spiritually grounded, and (2) to build skills and competencies that allow them to function and contribute in their daily lives."  (Pittman, 1993, p. 8)  http://cyd.aed.org/whatis.html  In addition, it primarily includes Bonner Center programs or activities and not all TCNJ initiatives or efforts.


Types of Service   short-term  |  ongoing school year  |  summer


During a typical academic year, the following direct-service activities and programs are organized by Bonner Community Scholars and Bonner Center staff.


  • Bonner Academic Sports Academy Team: this team of Bonners works at Greg Grant's Academic Sports Academy.   Bonners provide homework assistance, tutor, mentor, and lead various enrichment programs and field trips (see below).
  • Bonner MVP Team: this team of Bonners works with this youth basketball team on campus two nights a week.  Bonners provide homework assistance and implement the Minding Our Business program (see below).
  • Bonner Trenton Medical Arts H.S. Team/Bridge To Employment Project: this team works with 26 sophomore students and will continue to do so until they graduate and enroll in College.  Funded via a grant from Johnson and Johnson/Jannsenn Pharmaceuticals, the Bonners are involved in a range of activities, including--tutoring, mentoring, implementing a life-skills curricullum, and supervising year-long community service projects.
  • Youth Development Days: youth from community partner sites visit the TCNJ campus multiple times during the year to participate in single-day enrichment programs, such as the Hoops Skills Academy, the Spring Sports Academy and MLK Days.
  • 5th Grade Academic Enrichment Program: two 5th grade classes visit TCNJ each month during the academic year and participate in experiential learning activities to help build their skills and knowledge.
  • Minding Our Business: all of the teams ran a youth entrepreneur program--which allowed the participants to start their own business, create a product and sell the merchandise at a large community fair.


Academic Work


  • During the fall of 2009, there will be at least three First Year Seminar Program courses that the BCS and Bonner Center will work with--and each can contribute to our Youth Development initiatives.  (Another 6 or so will participate in the Youth Development Institute described below).  These courses are:  1) Being the Change: Analyzing Mentoring Relationships;  2) Schools and the American Dream; 3) Ghosts of Schools Past: A Historians View of Urban Schooling; 4) Multi-Cultural New York; and 5) Exploring Amish Culture.  Each class will make a unique contribution.  Some may engage in mentoring, develop curriculum or workshop materials.  Others (the last two mentioned) will help organize field trips (e.g. Ellis Island, an Amish Farm)--which will be the vehicle or space to work on youth development issues with students from our community partner sites.


  • Issue Briefs: Bonner Community Scholar teams helped completed 2 issue briefs that fall within the category of youth development during the Spring 2009 semester.  The Center will target classes to do the same during the 2009-2010 academic year.


Education and Training


  • Pre-Season Site Planning and Training Session: before the start of each academic year, all BCS teams spend a day working with their community partners on their Site Plans (goals, objectives etc...) and participate in two training sessions.  The youth development partners mentioned above are part of this process.


  • Half-Time Site Planning Session: the youth development partners (and all others) return to campus before the start of the Spring semester to revisit their Site Plans and to engaged in another round of training.


  • Youth Development Institute: students from all BCS education sites come to campus for a day and participate in workshops that TCNJ students prepared as part of their FSP courses.  There were 8 participating FSP courses last year. 


Organizational Capacity Building


  • Resource Development: there is a working agreement between the Center and the Academic Sports Academy--that both will strive to secure resources that will benefit the partnership.  The Bonner Center secured a $10,000 grant from a local utility company to support this partnership.


  • ASA RFP Proposal: in addition to the grant mentioned above, the Bonner Center helped shape ASA's response to an RFP to run after-school programs in the City.  ASA won the rights to run programs at two sites and experience a dramatic increase in the number of youth service by the program.


  • Trenton Community Orientation Course: in conjunction with the New Jersey Association for Children, the Bonner Center helps to deliver a 10 week course for local non profit staff and students.  The participants are given the knowledge and skills they need to become effective advocates for children and have a better understanding of our capitol city.



Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy


  • Critical Issue Forum-Urban Education":  Bonners from various Education/Youth Development teams organized a forum that focused on the acheivement gap between urban and suburban schools in New Jersey.  Colleagues from TCNJ's Urban Teacher's Academy joined the effort and addressed the crowd.


  • Critical Issue Forum-Child Welfare :  Bonners from the Child Welfare Team organized and spoke at a  forum that examined foster-care system in New Jersey and the needs of young adults.




Richard Wilson, Bonner Center Program Assistant (rwilson@tcnj.edu)     for information on ASA

Fred Derilus, BCS and ASA Site Leader (derilus2@tcnj.edu)                    for information on ASA

Paula Figueroa-Vega, Bonner Center Associate Director                        for information on Child Welfare/Lifeties Team

Morgan Reil, Bonner Center staff                                                        for information on BTE and MOB

Brittany Aydelotte, Bonner Center staff                                                for information on Critical Issues forums

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