Preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders to build healthier communities
Millhill Child & Family Development
Preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders to build healthier communities
Millhill Child & Family Development
Grant Award Amount

Millhill Child & Family Development is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth from Trenton, ages 14-21, are receiving guidance from trained community-based coaches to better understand topics around population health, develop leadership skills, and implement self-designed projects to make their communities healthier. By the end of this project, the youth participants will have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work with municipal governments, cross-sector coalitions focused on health, school boards, and other organizations to build healthier and more vibrant communities. The youth will also participate in a statewide alumni network to stay connected to their peers as they continue on their leadership paths and move into the next phases of their lives.  To advance this work in Trenton, Millhill is partnering with The College of New Jersey, the Trenton Prevention Policy Board, the City of Trenton, the Trenton Health Team and other citywide networks to guide youth in developing meaningful community health projects and establish a youth advisory board for the Trenton Prevention Policy Board. These Trenton youth represent one of 10 New Jersey communities supported by the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative.

In the first grant year, a team of Trenton youth worked to raise awareness about mental health, particularly among teens. In Summer 2018, the team hosted a mental health awareness event, distributed resources throughout their community and began the process to formalize a youth advisory council that advocates for better mental health awareness within Trenton schools. In Summer 2019, a new youth team worked to implement crime prevention through environmental design strategies and connect residents with available community resources. The youth revitalized a community park, where they hosted programs to raise awareness of available resources that promote family health, address public safety and support urban agriculture. In addition, the youth regularly shared key learnings with city officials to advocate on behalf of their community. Follow the team on Facebook, plus

  • See an overview of all of the Next Generation Community Leaders teams’ summer projects here. View a summary of the 2018 summer projects here.
    Learn more about their 2019 summer projects here.
  • Get a statewide view of this work, and connect with the nearest team at #NJLeaders2030.
Empowering Trenton through Youth Civic Engagement
Grant Recipient

Michelle Thompkins
Project Director
(609) 989-7333

Hear alumni from the first-year Next Generation Community Leaders teams reflect on their work, the value of meaningful experiences and authentic adult-youth partnerships, and share new insights that developed a broader perspective.

View recommendations from this initiative:

Atkins, B. and Hart, D.  Principles for Engaging Youth as Partners to Build Healthier CommunitiesGrantmakers in Health – Views from the Field. January 28, 2020.


Follow the latest news coverage regarding NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders:

Next Generation Community Leaders on Restoring the City
Trenton Daily/ De Jesus, E.
(2019, July 19).


Trenton’s Next Generation of Community Leaders
Trenton Daily/ Jones, P. (2019, April 11).

Column: Festival to Take on Issues of Mental Health in Urban Areas
The Trentonian/ Parker, L.A. (2018, July 16).


Trenton’s Next Generation of Community Leaders and Hamilton Radio Host Greg Rapport Discuss the Work of Building a Healthier Community
Age-Out Angels Radio Hour on Hamilton Radio. (2018, May 24).

Millhill Kicks Off New Jersey Health Initiatives’ Next Generation Community Leaders Program with Youth Team Building Retreat. Millhill Child & Family Development Blog (2017, November 7).
NJ Spotlight. (2017, July 12).
SNJ Today. (2017, July 12).

View All: NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders