Fighting Poverty, In Memory of Bill Cahir

January 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Junior Natasha Bailey hopes to pursue a career with a non-profit organization in the future, but in the meantime her passion of helping others is being put to good use at Penn State. She’s one of eight students who’s part of Project Cahir (pronounced care): Penn State Students United Against Poverty, which was started in memory of Bill Cahir  ’90 Lib.

Cahir worked as a Washington based-journalist and congressional staffer. He joined the Marines after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to serve and protect his country. Cahir was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, leaving behind his wife, then pregnant with twins, his parents, and siblings. Last year, his brother, Bart ’94, with support from his parents, started a scholarship in their son’s memory to recognize the kind of man he was—a man who cared about others.

Bailey, a scholarship recipient, says the Cahir Corps hope to accomplish change that can last a while and not only help current students, but future students as well. “We’re dedicated to it and are trying to let kids in poverty know they’re not alone,” Bailey says.

No one is sure how many students live in poverty, but freshman Varghese Paul, another scholarship recipient, says, “We know it’s there.” He adds, “There are students here that aren’t getting the resources and things they need.”

That’s why the Cahir Corps chose to start by researching how poverty actually affects students. They are conducting surveys and contacting Penn State departments, such as University Health Services as well as downtown organiations that work with local residents living in poverty. Once they gather enough information, they plan to put their knowledge to action, but they need to know what students need first in order to prepare a proper plan.

Emil L. Cunningham, the club adviser, says, “Poverty is an issue that often goes unnoticed, but many of us will come across it.”

Sarah Olah, intern                                                             

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The Penn Stater Daily — Jan. 27, 2014 The Penn Stater Daily — Jan. 28, 2014

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