This fall, 138 local students will embark on their post-secondary careers, thanks in part to community members who have established scholarship or award funds at Centre Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be able to facilitate so many students furthering their educations,” noted Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation.  “Donors and community members understand the value of education, whether that is at a two-year college, four-year university, or at a trade school. They have established more than 140 scholarship funds with us, and have entrusted Centre Foundation to administer applications and awards to deserving students every year.”

In total, $255,135 was distributed through this year’s scholarships to 138 students attending 35 post-secondary schools. Students from all five Centre County school districts received funding.

Lynn Sidehamer Brown established the Dr. John L. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship at Centre Foundation in honor of her late husband to encourage students to follow in his mathematical footsteps.  This year’s scholarship recipient was Joey Feffer, a US Presidential Scholar, member of the US National Linguistics Team, and participant in Centre Foundation’s high school philanthropy group called Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens).

“I am one of five children, I live in Boalsburg, and I have been involved with the school district through academic clubs and athletic pursuits almost all my life,” explained Feffer.  “I plan to attend Harvard University to study applied math with a focus in either economic theory or evolutionary biology. Extracurricularly, I plan on continuing many of the activities I pursued in high school; I plan to run on the Harvard Club track team, participate on the Harvard Debating Union, and help educate low-income Boston youth in some capacity. After college, I intended to go to grad school and become a professor and researcher in my intended field. This award will help offset the costs of college and will encourage me to continue my pursuits in the area of mathematics.”

The Stella Jedrziewski Wawrynovic Scholarship Fund issues eight scholarships annually in the Clearfield and Philipsburg-Osceola school districts. Her commitment to the community lives on each year as these students pursue their educational dreams thanks to her generosity.

With the Wawrynovic Scholarship that she received, Annie Kost will attend Pennsylvania College of Technology this fall.

“I have dreamed of being a nurse and making a difference for as long as I can imagine…I plan on attending medical school to either become a nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner,” noted Kost. “Through receiving this great scholarship, it will greatly help my family and I pay for various college necessities; and for that, my family and I are very grateful that you awarded this scholarship.”

This year, a newly established scholarship was able to grant its very first scholarship. The Catherine C Ye Memorial Scholarship was established and funded by many friends and family members in the community and beyond.

Hanna Yu will attend the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University this fall, thanks in part to the Ye Scholarship.

“I really enjoyed being part of the journalism program at State High,” said Yu.  “I was the newspaper co-editor-in-chief in eleventh grade and this past year I was the yearbook co-editor-in-chief. I learned a lot about planning, leadership, and understanding the community I live in. I’m not sure what I’ll major in at New York University, but I’m thinking of something math related. I might join the paper there. Attending NYU is pretty expensive so this scholarship will help my family pay part of it. I’m excited to move to a big city this fall.

“I didn’t know Catherine Ye but I knew Amy [her sister], and I remember how the whole Chinese community was impacted when she passed away,” continued Yu. “I hope what I do can help carry on her legacy.”

One of the two scholarship recipients from the Roy D. and Kathyrn K. Shoemaker Scholarship Fund was Justin Kurtz.

“At Penn State I plan to major in Plant Sciences with a minor in agribusiness management,” Kurtz explained. “I hope to someday become an entrepreneur by starting my own business to help production agriculturalists and become a good steward of the land. I am proud to be part of the Penn State class of 2022 and I hope to make you proud knowing I am a product of your financial support. Thank you so much!”

The Clare Fund Award for Performance Arts: Drama, Musical Theatre, or Dance was issued to Justin Shondeck this year. His talent and future plans match the spirit in which this award was established.

“I will be attending Ithaca College pursuing a degree in Musical Theatre,” Shondeck said.  “I am one of the 14 accepted students this year out of the 1900 applicants for this program, dedicated to educating students on not only using theatre as a form of industrial entertainment, but also as an art form that branches thousands of years of human culture. With this degree, I am hoping to work as a professional actor in New York City and internationally, I am particularly interested in both the West End in London, as well as creating a fusion performance blending my skills as a singer, dancer, and circus performer. I also want to use theatre as a social platform where I can talk about current issues such as the stigma facing people with special needs, as well as racism in the performing arts industry. At some point in the future, I am planning on pursuing a Master’s Degree in either Theatre, Voice, or Dance, and teach that subject in a University. Thank you for helping with this amazing opportunity!”

“Scholarship season is one of my favorite times of the year,” explained Ashley Pipe, Grants & Scholarship Coordinator.  “We get to learn about the stories and incredible accomplishments of our county’s best and brightest. I’m always honored to work with the school districts and scholarship fund holders to facilitate the annual scholarship process.”

High school seniors wishing to apply should work through their respective school districts in the spring, when the application period opens.

If you are interested in establishing a fund of any type, Centre Foundation is happy to assist you in reaching your philanthropic goals.  More information is available on our website, or you can call our office to make an appointment.