The College of New Jersey

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About the Pre-College Summer Service Scholars Program


Summer Service Scholars will serve organizations in Trenton and its surrounding communities. Trenton is a small city that presents a typical array of urban challenges. Students coming to the program should be prepared to work in a well supervised group within an urban context. In the past, TCNJ’s Bonner Center has worked closely with such organizations as The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, environmental organizations, urban garden groups, tutoring programs, homes for individuals with developmental disabilities, and youth sports organizations.


Summer Service Scholars will take part in evening film screenings, discussions and other intellectual/recreation activities. TCNJ admissions staff will lead a session on highlighting community engaged learning during the college admissions process.

A Day in the Life of a Summer Service Scholar

Below is a sample of what will likely occur. Specific daily routines will be set based on the particular needs of our community partners.


Begin with class work, learning about some of society’s most pressing challenges, followed by service in the community where you will have an impact on those same issues. You and your team might work at a soup kitchen, a food bank, a community garden, an urban school, a recreation center, a home for people with developmental disabilities, or any of the 20 Bonner non-profit partner sites. You will meet people who are directly affected by the policies or trends that you examine on campus, and community leaders who have spent their lives trying to improve the quality of life for all. You will experience what it means to be an engaged, effective democratic citizen.


Relax with new friends, watch and talk about thought provoking films that focus on your service work, or participate in any number of enrichment and social activities back on campus or in the city—perhaps the local minor league baseball park or Sun National Bank Center. In addition, TCNJ admissions counselors will lead a session to help you learn how to highlight your service experiences during the college application process.

Meals and Accommodations

Summer Service Scholars will live in a college dormitory, two to a room. Housing will be supervised by program staff. Residents will dine in one of the college’s dining halls. When service or recreational activities have them off campus at meal times, fellows will be provided with food on site.


Summer Service Scholars will be transported to and from service and recreational activities in groups via college van, motorcoach, or public transportation, depending on the destination.
Fellows are responsible for their own transportation to the TCNJ campus on the first day of the program and from campus on the last day of the program.

TCNJ is conveniently located along the I-95 about midway between New York and Philadelphia.

  • Driving directions
  • Transportation can be arranged for a fee to and from the Trenton Train Station (Amtrak, NJ Transit or SEPTA ) or the Philadelphia International Airport.


Please check the FAQ section of this website.  If your question is not addressed, please email us at Please put Summer Service Scholars in the subject line.

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