Kaseir Archie didn’t grow up playing hockey on a frozen pond in Canada or some far northern state. His encounter with the sport came about somewhat by chance, but his wholehearted dedication to learning and improving is at the core of who Kaseir is.
He grew up in Philadelphia’s hardscrabble Kensington neighborhood, home to the Scanlon Recreation Center which features an ice rink and hosts the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Kaseir began attending Scanlon’s after school program when he was eleven. Before the rink’s ice was even ready for skating, a hockey coach with the Snider Foundation started recruiting him.
Kaseir resisted, being partial to basketball and unfamiliar with hockey, but the coach’s persistence wore him down. He couldn’t ice skate and had never played hockey before, but with a characteristic willingness to commit to the work needed to excel, he started practicing every day after school.
He caught on quickly, learning to skate and quickly gaining skills that earned him a place on a Snider Foundation travel team. The days spent practicing hockey after school gave Kaseir focus, but the sport also opened opportunities well beyond the rink in Kensington.
Through the Snider Foundation, Kaseir was nominated to serve as a representative to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Advisory Board. The group advocates for making healthy food and exercise available to youth in order to combat childhood obesity. After an interview, he was selected as the only Pennsylvania representative among 21 nationwide.
He was proud to be chosen, but says, “I didn’t really know what a 16-year-old from Philly could do.” He’d soon find out that he was capable of much more than he had imagined. As a representative, he had the opportunity to speak at conferences and found himself on a panel with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. He developed a regular presentation on childhood obesity awareness that he would deliver at conferences – none bigger than the time he was invited to speak at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Leadership Summit, where he had the opportunity to speak with former President Bill Clinton.
Kaseir’s advocacy for healthy diet and lifestyle wasn’t all so high profile. He gave back to the community and organization that had helped him grow as a hockey player and health advocate by teaching classes on healthy eating to local kids as a part of the Snider Hockey Foundation.
The years Kaseir spent working to improve the lives of Philly’s youth convinced him that he wanted to attend a university in a vibrant, connected setting in the city. He visited Drexel and says that the architecture and technology of Gerri C. LeBow Hall made a strong impression.
As an incoming freshman international business major, Kaseir was invited to join the BRIDGE community. His maturity and dedication to community-building work led program director David Hunt to nominate Kaseir to the LeBow Learning Community Leadership Committee. “His story about his youth and experiences inspired me and I wanted other individuals to be inspired by his growth and trajectory,” David says.
As a member of the Leadership Committee, Kaseir helps plan events that bring together LeBow’s learning communities. He still contributes to Snider Hockey by coaching at camps and clinics and hopes to create a health app that can connect his advocacy work to what he’s learning in class at LeBow.