Grants Funded

All grants funded are reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors of the James Kirk Bernard Foundation.


In remembrance of the passing of Jamie Bernard on January 25, 2010, the James Kirk Bernard Foundation (JKBF) is pleased to announce its December 2018 grant funding to Active Minds and Bard College.

Active Minds ( is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students and young adults ages 14–25. The JKBF grant to Active Minds is for two purposes: (a) sponsorship of their annual conference, which this year is March 22-23 in Washington, DC, and (b) preparation of best practice guidelines for colleges based on the recent evaluation of Active Minds programs published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The paper found that the presence of Active Minds on college campuses could significantly increase the number of students who receive help for mental health issues. The JKBF grant will allow Active Minds to document its approach so it can be disseminated to more campuses, impacting more lives. As a sponsor, JKBF will have an exhibit at the annual conference in Washington.

Bard College ( is a liberal arts and sciences institution which inspires curiosity, a love of learning, idealism, and a commitment to the link between higher education and civic participation. Jamie attended Bard, receiving a post humous degree in 2010. The grant to Bard is for two purposes. The first is to expand the resources of the library, by providing enhancements to the library cafe and seminar rooms so students can better collaborate, create, and connect, and by enabling the purchase of 530 electronic volumes of Greek, Latin and English texts from the Digital Loeb Classical Library at Harvard. An avid reader and creative writing major, Jamie’s favorite place at Bard was the library. The second purpose is to host guest speakers on the Bard campus who have relevance to mental health. In the past JKBF has underwritten several speakers, including author Andrew Solomon (Noonday Demon) and clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison.

JKBF commends these two organizations for the excellent work they do to support the growth and wellness of young adults. The Foundation is happy to support their work.


The Foundation will provide a grant of $20,000 to Active Minds.  Active Minds is the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses.  By developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy group on campuses, the organization works to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community. Support from the James Kirk Bernard Foundation in 2012-2013 will provide support for continued maintenance of the interactive program bank and new webinar technology that allows Active Minds to communicate with and train volunteers at their more than 350 chapters around the country; regional chapter manager visits to college campuses, and a major sponsorship for the 2012 Active Minds Mental Health on Campus Conference.  Additional grants will be announced later in the year.


The Foundation will provide a grant of $10,000 to Active Minds.  Active Minds is a rapidly growing network of thousands of college students working towards one goal: to create campuses where students feel encouraged to speak openly about mental health and seek help. Active Minds takes a grassroots approach to changing the conversation about mental health one campus at a time. A nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, Active Minds has more than 350 student chapters in nearly all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, and Canada. Support from the James Kirk Bernard Foundation in 2011-2012 will help to support the sustainability of these 350 chapters through interactive web portals, consultations, and conferences.


  • The Interactive Program Bank was launched at the Active Minds 2011 National Mental Health on Campus Conference in November 2011. As of August 2012, there are more than 115 entries in the bank ranging from eating disorders awareness week programming to how to most effectively “table” with informational mental health resources in the student union.
  • Launched a series of Active Minds New Chapter webinars, hour-long webinars with all of our new chapters to ensure they are armed with the information, skills, and tools they need to be successful mental health change agents on their campus. As Active Minds does not have funding to visit each chapter in person, this is crucial to the success of their chapters.
  • Sustainability trip to central Florida. Florida is a hotspot with a large number of colleges and universities within driving distance of each other, and it is the location for the 2012 Mental Health on Campus Conference. Southeast Regional Chapter Manager, Rachael Datz, traveled down to central Florida and was able to visit six different colleges and universities over three days. It was a tremendous opportunity to train students in leadership development and consult with them on their challenges and successes this year and planning for the future.
  • 2011 Conference brought together more than 500 students and staff at the University of Maryland, College Park. The theme of conference was “Empowering Advocates for Change,” and through keynote presentations by the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Tom Insel; WNBA star and author Chamique Holdsclaw; and renowned singer/songwriter Meg Hutchinson, students left energized and ready to take action.

The James Kirk Bernard Foundation funded Oberlin College in the amount of $11,600 for mental wellness activities which include promoting the availability of campus mental health resources, scholarships to send Oberlin students to the national Active Minds conference, and for a speaker fund to bring speakers to campus whose topic is mental health and suicide prevention.


The Foundation will provide a grant of $10,000 to Active Minds.    This grant will support the development of an Interactive Program Bank, support one Chapter Coordinator Sustainability trip and provide scholarships for the organization’s annual conference.  The Active Minds Interactive Program Bank is an online resource where college chapters from across the country can share best practices with each other.  This functionality will revolutionize the way the chapters operate and allow them to learn from each other in order to strengthen and sustain their effectiveness on campus.


  • Sustainability trip to Chicago, Illinois conducted in spring 2011. Becky Gordon, the Regional Chapter Manager for the Midwest, visited eight schools. Of those eight schools, five had existing Active Minds chapters and three did not. As of April 2011, four of those existing chapters were rated with 5 stars on a 5-star scale, the highest rating a chapter can receive, supporting the notion that Becky’s in-person outreach to the chapter was effective and useful.
  • 2010 Active Minds Mental Health on Campus Conference brought together more than 600 college students and staff over a 3-day period in Montclair NJ to network with each other, experts in the field, and leaders within Active Minds. It was the most robust, well-evaluated conference yet.
  • A chapter of Active Minds was launched at Bard College.

A $25,000 grant was awarded to Extreme Sports Camp.  Extreme Sports Camp is a sports camp for youth with autism in Aspen, Colorado. Jamie was a counselor at Extreme Sports Camp for six years.  His brother, Bill, has autism.  This grant will be used for a scholarship fund to support campers who can’t afford tuition.