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Students United Against Poverty

Students United Against Poverty (SUAP) envisions a future in which students have the necessary support to combat poverty and student hardship directly through action, education, and advocacy at Penn State and beyond. Through SUAP, students can communicate and collaborate to form a collective voice, in partnership with the Office of Student Care and Advocacy, to advocate for necessary policies, programming, and student-led initiatives to work toward a future devoid of poverty and hardship

“ Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. ”
Nelson Mandela

Get Involved

Students United Against Poverty (SUAP), the University-affiliate student organization to the Office of Student Care and Advocacy, is recruiting a new cohort of student ambassadors for the 2024-2025 academic year to combat poverty and basic needs insecurity at University Park — while also representing the Office of Student Care and Advocacy. 

Accepted ambassadors will have access to paid leadership opportunities, access to professional development opportunities, academic experiences within the human development realm, and involvement in projects and programming that directly provides support for students facing significant hardship. The process is competitive, and those who apply will be expected to submit a written application and will be interviewed if they are advanced. Those accepted will take part in a 5-week orientation process that includes learning about University and community resources, case management training, peer counseling training, and introduction to the initiatives and projects that SUAP takes on. 

Responsibilities of a SUAP Ambassador for the 2024-2025 year include the following:

  • A minimum of 3 hours of work to include weekly meetings and independent or group tasks.
  • Abide by attendance requirements for general meetings and committee meetings
  • Organize and attend events for SUAP and engage in outreach efforts for the Office of Student Care and Advocacy
  • Engagement in semesterly projects and activities
  • Adhere to Penn State’s Student Code of Conduct and the Students United Against Poverty Handbook

Applications close Friday, March 29, at midnight.

History of Project Cahir

Project Cahir was established in memory of Sergeant Bill Cahir, a State College native and 1990 Penn State graduate killed in action in Afghanistan while working on building a school for girls. He lived a life dedicated to civic engagement and duty. After his death, his family created this initiative to honor his commitment to civic duty through the students of Project Cahir.

“Bill was a pretty unlikely soldier,” said John Cahir, Bill’s father, Penn State alumnus and former vice provost for undergraduate education.

Bill Cahir was working as a journalist when the 9/11 attacks motivated him to enlist as a reservist in the Marine Corps, as he was over the eligible age to be commissioned. He had completed two tours in Iraq and was working with the Marine’s 4th Civil Affairs Group when he was killed.

“Bill was a leader,” said John Cahir. “He had an incredible ability to read a person, find their strengths and amplify them. He was always interested in serving those who needed help.”

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Students United Against Poverty & Project Cahir
Penn State Student Affairs
Student Care & Advocacy

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University Park, PA 16802​​​​​​​


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