With the help from a grant, the Centre County Youth Service Bureau is able to continue programs that might otherwise be hard to keep around.
YSB given $2,000 grant
YSB CEO Andrea Fisher said the $2,000 the organization received last month through the Centre PACT — Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens — program will help fund about six months of prevention-type programs.
“We do a number of preventative services that have no funding sources,” Fisher said. “We do these because they’ve proven effective, and when funding dissipates, we still want to hang onto them.”
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The organization supports neighborhood outreach programs that Fisher said allow YSB staff to bring education to at-risk youth in three Centre County communities — Miles Trailer Park in Julian, Ashworth Woods in State College and Centre Hall.
“It’s engaging with kids so they get connected with healthy adult role models in their lives, and talk about bullying, what to do or say when offered drugs, and who to tell,” she said. “It’s about helping kids know what to do before they face these problems.”
YSB youth prevention program in 3 Centre County communities
Fisher said YSB administrators assess Centre County neighborhoods every couple years, and identify needs based on poverty level and police calls.
“So we know where those places are and literally put the show on the road by going out there when those kids might not have access to get to us,” she said.
The program costs about $5,000 a year, Fisher said.
$8,495 raised for six local organizations
Other organizations funded this year through Centre PACT are the ACRES Project, Front and Centre Productions, Jana Marie Foundation, Park Forest Preschool and Penns Valley Youth Center.
Centre PACT is a Centre Foundation program that’s run by high school students to help raise money for other local organizations.
Centre Foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkel said students started the initiative in September with a $1,000 granting pool provided by the foundation, and $2,000 from an endowment fund for their group.
The students then campaigned to help raise an additional $5,495 from 37 sponsors.
The money was divvied up and distributed to those organizations last month.
Since September, these amazing students have rolled up their sleeves and learned about philanthropy in a very hands-on way, learning everything from granting to fundraising
Molly Kunkel, executive director
“Since September, these amazing students have rolled up their sleeves and learned about philanthropy in a very hands-on way, learning everything from granting to fundraising,” Kunkel said in a statement. “They have made such an impact, and in the areas that really speak to them. It’s been so inspiring to watch these young philanthropists grow during the course of this program.”
This year’s theme was “Educating and Inspiring Youth for a Healthier, Brighter Future,” which helped guide the grant decisions in April.
Fisher said administration and YSB staff were required to give a presentation and then were selected for a grant.
“They said they were really invested in our mission of helping local youth,” she said.
YSB has an annual budget of about $4 million, of which 14 percent is funded through other contributions.
“We don’t have government funding sources so we rely on private dollars that helps programs like this,” Fisher said.