Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar Spotlight: Brian Everett

By Tom McLaughlin

Since its inception in fall 2011, the Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars program has partnered with more than forty organizations in the university’s host city, with Civic Scholars – committing 300 hours of community service in an academic year – contributing to projects and initiatives ranging from community building, healthcare, volunteer recruitment, homeless outreach, youth program enrichment, college access, and urban environmental justice.

On May 21, nine Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars will be the first from this fast-growing and indispensable cadre of volunteers to graduate from Rutgers–Camden – including four from the original cohort: Amy Mallon, Shaili Patel, Angelica Shaw, and Russell Tichian.

In a series of portraits, these exemplary humanitarians share their invaluable experiences and lessons learned, and offer words of advice for others interested in taking this personal pledge of service.

Brian Everett
Majors: Spanish and Urban Studies
Hometown: Cherry Hill

High School: Cherry Hill High School West

Inspiration to Servebrian.photo

I became a Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar in 2013 because I wanted to further engage with the Camden community and see the people, the infrastructure, and the highs and lows firsthand.

Primary Role

I serve as a community-based researcher, and publish my progress, opinions, activism, and proposed legislation based upon my findings on my website, njpovertyreality.com.

Learning Curve

I’ve learned exactly how hard it is to accomplish tasks legislatively, both municipally and on the state level. I’ve grown most by identifying what it is that people need, and differentiating these needs from what politicians may publicize in the news.

An Active Voice

I fully expect to remain an active voice in New Jersey’s blogosphere. By doing so, I will continue to make important connections within and outside the city. An example of such a connection was when I had coffee with one of PolitickerNJ’s 100 Most Influential People and current writers, Jay Lassiter. He has been an inspiration, and his method of writing has served to mentor me in my approaches.

A Wealth of Resources

Rutgers-Camden Civic Scholars serve as one of many resources that can benefit City Hall and Trenton in order to identify and eliminate systemic causes of poverty. Civic Scholars are the troops on the ground – in the soup kitchens, in the schools, in the health clinics, everywhere. Even though our work is based in Camden, Civic Scholars can provide a dialogue of their experiences, and connect other struggling cities with the resources and programs that have worked for us.

Words to Live By

The best advice that I can give to current and prospective Civic Scholars, as well as all community members, is that you should never be afraid to have your voice heard. When you have done your research, when you have collected all the necessary documents, and after you have all the proof you need to conclude that something is indeed unjust, never be afraid of who may challenge you.

Posted in: Community Outreach

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