The Civic Scholars are the leaders and stewards of civic engagement at Rutgers-Camden, dedicated to serving the city of Camden through dynamic service efforts that will catalyze positive, measurable impacts in the community.
Inspired by the power of collaboration, the Civic Scholars are committed to urban revitalization through sustainable partnerships and specialized community involvement. The Civic Scholars give an on-campus voice to the variety of complex urban issues facing the city of Camden; raising awareness and positioning Rutgers as a unique resource to Camden non-profit organizations.
The Civic Scholars Program at Rutgers-Camden gives students the opportunity to
- work closely with a faculty mentor on meaningful university-community projects
- attend special events related to civic engagement, including access to guest speakers
- participate in internships and gaining hands-on experience
- take part in a 3-credit seminar in the fall on making social change.
As part of the program, Civic Scholars are expected to commit 300 hours to the program over the course of the year, including such activities as performing community service, participating in public interest internships, and completing the hands-on aspect of service-learning courses. It also includes time spent meeting with other Civic Scholars to analyze and reflect on the challenges facing communities and their work to address them.
Examples of recent student civic engagement projects by students on campus include:
- working in after-school programs in North Camden schools
- developing a community safety campaign in North Camden that included giving away high-efficiency light bulbs to residents for outdoor use and documenting improvements in lighting in the neighborhood
- creating a business plan for a local non-profit hoping to raise more money to increase their capacity to serve medically fragile infants.
Civic Scholars receive a total of $2,175 in scholarship money: a $1,000 scholarship from the academic unit and a $1,175 AmeriCorps scholarship (on top of any other scholarships they already might have), with the possibility of renewal in future years.