Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens) is a program which unites high school students from all over Centre County, bringing them together to raise money for local nonprofits. Philanthropy, because it involves donating money to aide an organization, is typically not associated with young minds, particularly those still in high school. However, Centre PACT is much more than just an outlet to raise money; it is an opportunity for learning and growth. Through Centre PACT, students will learn the entire process of philanthropy. From identifying and agreeing on an important cause and then granting money to support that cause, the students make the decisions and eventually create the change.

I joined Centre PACT the first year it existed, during my sophomore year of high school. I can honestly say that compared to every class, club, and extracurricular I participated in, Centre PACT made the biggest difference in me. I have lived in Centre County my whole life. I know the area, I know the people, and I know the areas of our community which could be improved. But I never thought that I would be capable of enacting a change and making a difference. Through Centre PACT, I was able to have a voice and make a tangible change in my community. I can see the impact of the funds my fellow “Centre PACTers” and I have raised, and it warms my heart to know that I was a huge part of changing lives in my hometown for the better.

Whether you are a high school student just looking to complete your mandatory 20 hours of volunteer service by graduation, or you have a passion for change, helping others, philanthropy, and your community, I can promise you Centre PACT will be one of the greatest experiences of your high school career.

By Bella DiNallo, Centre PACT alumna & freshman at Penn State

Students from all Centre County high schools are encouraged to apply for the Centre PACT Class of 2018-19. If interested, please apply online by Friday, Sept. 28.