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In early 2022, were awarded one of the largest AmeriCorps VISTA grants in New Jersey’s history. Over the next five years, ENGAGECorps will focus on developing college students’ 21st-century skills for life and work, increasing high school completion and college access, increasing college students’ overall health and educating developing minds about the human impacts on climate change in our most marginalized communities. 

Through ENGAGECorps,  AmeriCorps Members will serve full-time for at least one year at higher education institutions beginning this Fall, collectively providing nearly 40,000 hours of capacity-building work in these areas. ENGAGECorps members will focus on several student success strategies as laid out below. Engage NJ member campuses are eligible to apply for between one and four ENGAGECorps Members.



ENGAGECorps members will focus on several strategies based on each campus’s particular priorities in supporting students getting to and through college, including by:

  • Becoming a Changebuilders campus that develops 21st-century skills through students solving community-engaged projects together in teams

  • Building institutional capacity to join the growing number of community resource centers designed to tackle food insecurity, mental health, and other challenging factors in determining student persistence

  • Supporting efforts to expand or deepen the impact of tutoring and mentoring programs that are designed to increase high school completion and college access 

  • Developing or expanding institutions’ efforts focused on climate change and environmental stewardship, including by providing crucial support to neighboring districts’ implementation of the new K12 climate change education standards


Some of our 2022 EngageCorps VISTAs - at Orientation and at the THRIVE Student Conference


Climate Director, Margaret Wang, on the benefits of having an EngageCorps VISTA 

  • Given the four cohorts of VISTAs working toward impact in Goal III, success will be measured by a variety of indicators, including:

  • Campus and community-level increases in 21st-century skills, increased resource access for food and health insecurities, increased # of students mentored, and increased knowledge and experience with climate change

  • Across the board, we will utilize goal III to raise industry awareness of the activities and competencies of these students with an intended outcome of:

    • Building a wider array of industry partnerships

    • Diversifying funding sources

    • Scaling Engage NJ programs

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