For Emma Neely, participating in Centre PACT this year was particularly meaningful. The program, which brings together Centre County high school students to identify community problems, raise funds, and issue grants, went remote in March as pandemic restrictions on gatherings took effect.


“Originally, the students formed groups around mutual interests such as equity and education. When the pandemic started, we gave students the option to either continue as usual or to focus on nonprofits that were immediately addressing the coronavirus pandemic,” said Hope Bodenschatz, Centre PACT Coordinator.


“After this lockdown took hold and became a reality, we realized that we would be stronger together under one mission statement. This pandemic is bigger than any of us alone and we wanted to do whatever we could to make taking care of people in need easier on these organizations,” said Emma Neely, a 2020 graduate of the

program. As a result of their fundraising, the 29 Centre PACT members were able to issue grants totaling $6,000 to Centre Safe, Centre Volunteers in Medicine, CommonFood,Inc., Housing Transitions, and Out of

the Cold: Centre County.