Former UPUA Members Form Nonprofit
The number of Philadelphia area Catholic High School graduates that attend Penn State every year is staggering. With over twenty-three Archdiocesan High Schools and Private Catholic Academies spread throughout the five counties sending students to both University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses, this network leads to thousands of alumni for Penn State year after year and a large influential base specifically in the Philly area.
In the Spring of 2008 St. Joseph’s Prep alum Gavin Keirans was able to capitalize on the determination, organization, and turnout of Catholic High School Alumni (“Gavin’s Green Army”) which led to two successful Penn State Student Government wins where he served an unprecedented two terms as Student Body President.
Fast-forward to the Fall of 2011. Gavin Keirans, along with another Philly Catholic HS alum and former UPUA Off-Campus Representative (2006-2007) Thomas A. Shakely, hatched together the idea of forming a group of recent college alumni and current students who shared a common background in Catholic education, athletics, faith, and service. Thus the Philadelphia Catholic League Alumni Corps was formed (taking its name from the highly competitive Philadelphia Catholic League which produced PSU Heisman Trophy Winner John Cappelletti). In addition to those student leaders, former UPUA Smeal College of Business Representative Michael Wallace, former USG President Nick Stathes, and former UPAC member Laura Hibbs currently serve on the Board of Directors.
By the Winter, PCLAC had filed its paperwork with the Pennsylvania Department of State along with the IRS and incorporated as a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit corporation. PCLAC seeks to revitalize neighborhoods across the city through large scale service activities. Our service is on projects whose impact will be long term and institutionally improve communities. Simultaneously, the group seeks to foster those friendships and relationships built around attending a Philadelphia area Catholic High School as individuals enter the professional workforce while giving back to their communities
PCLAC had its kickoff service event back in February where they vitalized St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in South Philadelphia. In addition, PCLAC has been profiled by The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Northeast Times.
Currently we will be having our next service project this Saturday, May 19th at 10 am at Resurrection of Our Lord in Northeast Philadelphia. We will be doing some light vitalization work and painting. We would love for any Penn Stater who will be in the Philly area that weekend to help out. Regardless of high school or geographic rivalry, former Penn State student leaders are doing some strong things when they graduate, further adding onto our Alma Mater’s call to service.