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Student Activists Pledge to Fight For Low Income Americans They Are Scared to Interact With


Photos (with edits) by 8photo

Student activists at Penn are continuing to passionately defend the rights of those they cross the street to avoid.

“I see Philadelphians asking for money on every street corner,” says lifelong suburbanite Mike Gambon (C '22). “And as I hurry away from them with my wallet concealed, I think, 'Someone needs to help these people.'”

Future investment banker, Emma Snopes (W '24), shares Gambon’s passion for helping the poor. “There are homeless Americans sleeping under shops all around the city,” Snopes says. “When I call the police to clear them, I make sure to remind our officers to treat them with respect and decency.”

Snopes and Gambon are looking to recruit more students to their cause. They hope to raise awareness about poverty through a novel combination of occasional social media posts and irregular meetings.

“To explore this issue in depth, at one of our events we are hoping to bring in a speaker who knows someone who knows someone who has been homeless,” says Gambon. “Having thirdhand insight into these things can be valuable.”

Snopes encourages freshmen, in particular, to join, noting that together they can serve as activists for the Philadelphia community without ever taking a step beyond 40th street.

“Our goal right now is to attract as many members to our group as we can,” Snopes says. “In the long term, the goal is for us to feel like we are making a difference. And I am confident we can get there.”