“New Jersey Health Initiative” grant, we developed and piloted a new and innovative Community Center in close partnership with New Jersey City University. The Community Center’s mission is to be seen as a place where myriad support and resources are availed of in a stigma-free and welcoming environment for all. Through its mission, the vision for the center is to nurture people feeling equal and empowered to determine their own path to health and prosperity, while at the same time being inspired to engage in tackling community issues with others.
The Community Center functions as a bridge to connect students to resources under one roof in order to take ownership over their own success.
- Food Security – “healthy food, 7 days a week”
- Civic Health & Activism – “inspiring students to work together to tackle community issues”
- Community – “because together, we are better”
- Counseling and Mental Health – “Student Individual and Group Counseling”
- Physical Education and Nutrition – “goodness for the body and mind”
- Financial Health – “accessing information to better manage your money”
EngagedNJ is here to showcase the incredible role that civic engagement is playing to build a prosperous state. New Jersey is on the path to becoming the leading engaged state in the nation – one that links volunteerism and educational excellence to produce a generation of graduates uniquely qualified to be engaged citizens who thrive in the state’s 21st century workplace. Especially at our higher education institutions, when we develop high quality sequences of community engagement projects for students to tackle in teams throughout their education, we are not only nurturing engaged citizens who will address issues in their local communities. We are ensuring these NJ-based graduates have the very skills that NJ businesses are crying out for in their recruits.
College students and professionals need to work together in order to help uncover and then translate civic engagement experiences into marketable workplace skills – this is especially so for less advantaged students. Many of the student changebuilders need the guidance of local professionals in the form of mentoring and networking in order to fully capitalize on their investment in changing society for the better, such as:
- Providing valuable networking exposure for college students
- Articulating the pathway from volunteering 🡪 in-demand skills 🡪 competitive recruitment 🡪 a thriving workplace
Corporations and other employers will benefit from forging alliances with these students as emerging professionals, thereby developing strategies for adapting the recruitment process so as to tap into this new market of recruits.
We make the case on:
“At RVCC, we’re committed to not only educating our students in the classroom, but also preparing them for a lifetime of good citizenship and active engagement in their communities and society. The Campus Compact project will offer our students the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the electoral process and gain a better understanding about the importance of making their votes count,” - RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.
Raritan Valley Community College has received a $1,850 mini-grant to participate in Engage the Elections: 2018, a project that aims to advance non-partisan electoral engagement on community college campuses. The project is part of Campus Compact’s The Democracy Commitment Initiative. RVCC is one of only 14 community colleges in the country—and the only New Jersey college—to be awarded the mini-grant.
Every quarter we share news, information & stories of engagement in New Jersey through our Engaged NJ Newsletters in the links below:
- Engaging Young People in the Midterm Elections and Beyond
- National Campus Compact Webinar: Racial Equity & Belonging in Education
- National Campus Compact Webinar: Civic Power at Community Colleges
- National Campus Compact Webinar: A Community Partnership Framework Analysis
- National Campus Compact Webinar: University Junctions: Connecting Writing and Service-Learning Across Campus
- Recruiting CIvically Engaged College Students: Lessons Learned From the Fall ‘18 Recruitment Cycle with Dr. Saul Petersen, Lori Moog, Deborah Simms
- National Campus Compact Webinar: Students & Spiritual Motivations to Do Good
- National Campus Compact Webinar: Exploring the Connection: Community Engagement and College Completion
- Running Multi-Year Programs: Civic Scholars at Drew
- Facebook Live Stream: Running Alternative Spring Breaks & Dr. Martin Luther King Service Day
- National Campus Compact Webinar: Place-Based Community Engagement
New Jersey Campus Compact and our partners are embarking on our most ambitious shared task yet – to support literally thousands of college-going millennials capable of demonstrating excellence while engaging with and volunteering in communities, thereby enabling them to make a difference in their local communities as Changebuilders. This will see a surge in the overall number of young socially responsible graduates with the skills required to be successful – both in achieving their own life goals and in their efforts to be part of change for the better.
Our six Changebuilder campuses intentionally recruit students through their AmeriCorps members serving as Changebuilder Coordinators, that mirror the diversity of communities in which projects will take place, and to design partnerships and sequences of experiences that are guided the following principles at minimum.
- Place the highest value on diversity, equity and inclusion – by intentionally recruiting students that mirror the diversity of communities in which their experiences will take place
- Focus on Project Goal Accomplishment - results achieved through intentional behavior and change in practices
- Emphasize Tracking to Success - having built-in points of reflection and learning in order to make the changes necessary for end goal success as part of the program
- Tie community engagement to Sequences of Courses & Experiences – refining and improving students’ own practices in making change
- Tie Experiences to a Career Pathway - invite the support of local professionals to offer mentoring and co-volunteering throughout these experiences
- Seek to develop Civic Transfer Pathways – concrete incentives for community college graduates transferring to a baccalaureate institution
After 4 amazing years of service as a collective impact project across the sate of New Jersey, we have come to our final year of service with the Corporation of National & Community Service AmeriCorps VISTA program. Our VISTA members have made great strides in building the capacity of multi-sector collaboratives throughout the state
VISTA has dramatically changed my life! Dedicating my life to a full year of service, living on a poverty based living allowance, as a single mother, all while juggling my senior year of college, was not easy at all. However, this opportunity has not only developed my passion for giving back, it has launched my career into the non-profit sector, and for that I will be forever grateful to have served as an AmeriCorps VISTA. -Sarahdjie Monosiet, Associate Director of NJ Campus Compact
“These young people are laying the building blocks of change, the foundations of a better future, and we are immensely proud to support their work as Changebuilders. Through our partnership with AmeriCorps and our member campuses, these students are building change from within because we all play a crucial role.” - Dr. Saul Petersen, Director of Changebuilders
These scholars were selected through a competitive statewide application process as part of NJCC’s AmeriCorps Changebuilders program, designed to increase by at least 5,000 the number of civically engaged college graduates who have developed 21st-century workplace skills. Each scholar receives $1,000 to be used in any way that the awardees believe supports their continued success as students and engaged members of their communities. The 2019 cohort of Changebuilders Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and are putting New Jersey on the path to being the engaged state – we are excited to congratulate the following public scholars:
Press play to watch a brief clip of the $1,000 Changebuilder scholarship recipient, Christopher Diaz from New Jersey City University
Press play to watch a brief clip of the $1,000 Changebuilder scholarship recipient, Jannat Begum from William Paterson University
Press play to watch a brief clip of the $1,000 Changebuilder scholarship recipient, Francy Camacho from Drew University
STEPHAN LALLY Ramapo College of New Jersey
Stephan Lally, third year student at Ramapo College of New Jersey, is serving his second term as President of the Student Government Association (SGA). Through his work with the SGA, Stephan has advocated for the concerns of students affected by food, housing, and financial insecurity. This advocacy has led to the creation of a campus food pantry and an emergency student relief fund.
KAELEY IPSON Raritan Valley Community College
Kaeley Ipson, a second-year civil engineering major in Raritan Valley Community College's Honors College, is a student leader dedicated to academic excellence and service. At RVCC, Kaeley has participated in multiple engineering-related experiences that have benefitted the campus and community. Through her service learning coursework, she assisted engineers at a local municipal office mapping out detention basins and educating residents about retro fitting.
PAIGE RICHARDS Stockton University
Paige Richards, a second-year student at Stockton University, is an active Bonner Leader working on a variety of service projects throughout the campus and community. For the last two years, she has worked closely with other student leaders in the Office of Service-Learning organizing breast cancer walks, volunteering with "Give Kids the World", a non-profit based in Florida that offers cost-free vaccinations for terminally-ill children and their families and volunteering at AtlanticCare, the largest hospital system in Southern New Jersey.
SHAYDAIH WILLIAMS William Paterson University
Shaydaih Williams, a junior majoring in Public Health with a minor in Health Studies, has served the WP and local community by participating in over 50 university coordinated civic engagement activities encompassing almost 1000 hours of service. As VP of Students of Service and member of several other student organizations, Shaydaih organizes activities that encourage students to serve. Shaydaih's passion for service includes working with the elderly and addressing food insecurity.
MARIA ZAMORA-PORRAS Rutgers University-Newark
As an active student leader at Rutgers University-Newark, Maria Zamora-Porras has demonstrated a strong commitment to creating social change through awareness raising, advocacy, and activism. During her time at Rutgers-Newark, Maria has effectively implemented initiatives aimed at addressing social inequities experienced by historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. As an intern in the Rutgers University-Newark Office of Undocumented Student Services, Maria has worked to empower undocumented students by coordinating community building activities, facilitating educational trainings,and inspiring her peers to take action by sharing her personal narrative of being a first-generation college student and child of immigrants.
“We want to take the time to hear from these inspiring students because, after all, this is a big reason why we keep showing up every day – to help people find their way into and through adulthood, to help them discover their passion and direction.” - Dr. Saul Petersen, Executive Director, New Jersey Campus Compact
Students' Stories of Engagement will play a critical role in giving college-going volunteers the opportunity to talk about the impact they are making in their communities and the benefits of volunteering. Civically engaged students work for a larger meaning than individual success.
The following are Students' Stories of Impact:
“We are thrilled to debut our new organizational website to our members, students, partners, media and visitors who are looking to understand the breadth of our programs, initiative and how they can contribute to making New Jersey the Engaged State. This new website is truly another way we at NJCC are committed to creating the best experience for our various stakeholders and website visitors as possible.” - Dr. Saul Petersen, Executive Director, NJCC
Visit us at our new website:
New Jersey Campus Compact Awarded $10,000 per Month in In-kind Advertising with Google Ad Grants.
“With this grant, NJ Campus Compact can spend up to $120,000 in Google’s advertising money over the next year to help us amplify our digital impact. The Google Ad Grant is designed not only to drive traffic to our website but also high-quality, converting traffic. Google’s goal is to help its grantees build more donations with this free ad space, in part by focusing on the quality of ad traffic over the quantity. We hope the new traffic to the website combined with the Grant will create a new stream of financing for NJ Campus Compact and help us grow and make a meaningful impact on the current landscape of college-going volunteerism in New Jersey”. - Sarahdjie Monosiet, Associate Director
Easter Regional Campus Compact (ERCC) Conference
The 2019 conference theme, “Education for Democracy: Innovating in Complex Times”, took place in Providence, RI, in close partnership with Brown University.
- There were 409 attendees, a record since its founding in 2011. Unfortunately, only 12 attended from New Jersey and only two – Jennifer Musial and Esther Nir of New Jersey City University, presented.
- Conference presentations were evaluated by the participants as 86% Good to Excellent.
- Social Media Engagement: The hashtag #ERCC2019 was used. According to Everwall (Instagram and Twitter only), the reach of our social media during the conference was a total of 784, 364
Engaged Scholars Initiative
The purpose of the Engaged Scholars Initiative is to develop, support and connect leaders who can advance co-created knowledge, critically engaged pedagogies, institutional change, and collaborative action to address societal issues. The overall goals are to:
- Develop engaged scholars and scholar-practitioners who are committed to addressing power dynamics and advancing equity and full participation in institutions and communities;
- Advance scholarly objectives (research, teaching, and/or application) of each participant’s choosing;
- Strengthen professional networks by building deep relationships among participants;
- Expand the perspectives and types or sources of knowledge incorporated and highlighted in the field; and
- Generate individual and collaborative work that translates participants’ insights into publications, conference presentations, or other educational and community resources.
One of the current cohort, Dr. Michael Nordquist, is a member of the NJCC Civic Leadership Committee and is joined by nine other engaged scholars from the region. To learn more, -
We plan out the next academic year, starting with our Annual Planning Retreat on June 27th at Stockton University Atlantic City, and we invite all interested parties to attend and build a stronger network together.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you intend to participate.
In August, we will release our Program Calendar for the coming academic year so follow us on Twitter andFacebook for more about that, or visit our website at www.njcampuscompact.org for ongoing updates.
Some key features of next year that we are very excited about are:
- We will launch our first Seed Grant Program, with funding ranging from $750 - $1,500, and these will be tied to increasing volunteer numbers through our EngagedNJ grant.
- In Spring 2020, we will hold our first Student Conference and publish our first annual edition of “Thrivers”. We are interested in convening our civically engaged students in a central NJ location for 1-2 days during the April 3-11 week.
- In Spring 2020, we will hold our first Faculty Civic Engagement Symposium for 1-2 days during the April 3-11 week.
- Our hugely successful Changebuilders Program will be in its second year, with nine campuses and partners confirmed. To find out more, contact email@example.com
And there is much much more! So get in touch, follow our media channels, and GET ENGAGED!