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$10,000 grant to boost job opportunities for adults with a

by on September 06, 2018 10:58 AM

STATE COLLEGE — Members of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle gathered at Above the Valley on Aug. 29 for their annual cocktail reception. They heard presentations from three local organizations: ACRES Project, Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County and Discovery Space.

After members’ votes were tallied, a $10,000 Giving Circle grant was awarded to ACRES Project, which will use the funding to increase employment opportunities for adults with autism.

ACRES, of Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions, is a State College nonprofit working to foster independence, self-advocacy and work and life skills for adults with autism. According to the Centre Foundation, the organization's programs are designed by adults with autism for adults with autism.

Presenters Jeffrey Rose and Mary Krupa, both clients of ACRES Project, explained how programs are limited for adults with autism after the age of 21.

“Although the programs go away, your problems do not,” said Rose.

“Imagine having the skills and drive to earn a Ph.D., but lacking the communication or social skills to secure meaningful employment,” said Krupa.

With this grant, ACRES Project will providing its clients with mentors, networking opportunities, interview training, on-the-job support and more.

Since the establishment of the Giving Circle in 2006 as part of Centre Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration, members have distributed $139,000 in grants.
In June, organizations were encouraged to apply for the Giving Circle grant. Members then ranked more than 40 applications and invited the top three finalists to present their proposals at the cocktail reception. The runners-up each received $2,500 in grants.

The Bellefonte Art Museum will use the grant money toward “Art of the Americas,” a four-part exhibition series featuring Native American art from the Northwest Coast, Judaica art, pottery by Native Americans of the Southwest and art from the Caribbean.

Discovery Space will use the grant money toward “stEMPOWERed Girls,” an afterschool program that teaches fifth-grade girls about careers in STEM fields. Participants gain hands-on experience by meeting with local female professionals at their places of work.

Previous recipients of Giving Circle grants include Hearts for Homeless, Interfaith Human Services, Park Forest Preschool, House of Care, Discovery Space, Housing Transitions, Strawberry Fields and Centre Helps, formerly known as the Community Help Centre.

For more information, visit www.centre-foundation.org.

 

 

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