State College, PA – Nov. 11, 2021 – On Tuesday, Nov. 9, members of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle gathered at Axemann Brewery for their annual reception and to hear presentations from three local nonprofit organizations: Centre Helps, Go ReEntry Specialists, and Jana Marie Foundation.

Each year, Giving Circle members pool their resources to create grants for local nonprofits. Thanks to an increase in donor memberships, the Giving Circle was able to grant a total of $23,000, up from $19,000 in 2020.

After members’ votes were tallied, Jana Marie Foundation was awarded the top grant of $11,000 for their Teen Mental Health First Aid program.

Jana Marie Foundation encourages young people to care for their mental health as they would their physical health and empowers them through educational programming and community mobilization. The organization works to increase protective factors for young people and raise awareness for mental wellness and suicide prevention.

With the Giving Circle funding, Jana Marie Foundation will launch a new Teen Mental Health First Aid program. This program will young people how to identify, understand, and respond to a friend who is experiencing mental health challenges.

“Teens are more likely to confide in a peer than go to an adult if they need mental health support,” said Marisa Vicere, President and Founder of Jana Marie Foundation. “The Teen Mental Health First Aid program gives young people the tools they need to have those conversations.”

With the $11,000 grant, Jana Marie Foundation will be able to train more instructors and cover the costs of the supplies needed to provide the trainings.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Giving Circle and are excited for the difference it will make,” said Vicere.

Twenty-seven nonprofit organizations submitted applications for funding from the Giving Circle earlier this year. Giving Circle members then reviewed the submissions and voted to determine which three organizations would present as finalists live at the reception.

Thanks to the generosity of Giving Circle members, the runners-up each received a $4,000 grant.

Go ReEntry Specialists promotes safer and healthier communities by helping people who are incarcerated to re-enter society successfully. They will use their grant to increase the number of requests they can fulfill and to help more people find stability and support following incarceration.

Executive Director Mark Frailey discussed the importance of providing hope and a clear path forward in order to reduce recidivism. Frailey was joined by Krista Henry, a case manager at Go ReEntry Specialists and a Certified Recovery Specialist in training.

Centre Helps empowers those in crisis or in need by providing emotional support and connection to resources through their 24/7 hotline. They will use their grant to provide hotel stays for those who are experiencing a housing emergency and to address the increased demand for their services.

Executive Director, Denise McCann, discussed the difference Centre Helps makes and how they are seeing an increased need for their basic needs and housing related services. McCann was joined by Jared Pavlock, a volunteer at Centre Helps.

This year, Centre Foundation introduced two tiers of membership to the Giving Circle, and it resulted in a new way for members to increase their impact. Individuals who joined at the VIP level were enabled to award an extra $4,000 grant to any of the three finalist organizations.

Go ReEntry Specialists was selected to receive the additional grant, which increased their grant amount to a total of $8,000.

Since the establishment of the Giving Circle in 2006, members have distributed $198,000 in grants, supporting nonprofit organizations throughout Centre County.

Previous recipients of the Giving Circle grant include: CentrePeace, Centre Safe, ACRES Project, Interfaith Human Services, Park Forest Preschool, House of Care, Discovery Space, Housing Transitions, Strawberry Fields, and Centre Helps.

For more information about the Giving Circle, including membership, visit or contact Kerry Tolton at or 814-237-6229.

Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a vibrant community.