Snider Hockey partnered with the Philadelphia Flyers to celebrate the Foundation’s graduating high school seniors by hosting students and their family members at the Wells Fargo Center prior to the Flyers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 4. The Snider Hockey seniors were honored before the game with a reception at the Cadillac Grille, where they were acknowledged for their hard work and many accomplishments. Attendees listened to memorable speeches from Board Members and staff, while also enjoying a photo montage of their days participating with Snider Hockey before enjoying the Flyers game.

For most of the seniors, this day was years in the making. From lugging hockey bags to practice after school, to traveling around the Philadelphia region to attend games, this graduating class has experienced it all with Snider Hockey programming so much that the Foundation has in many ways served as a second home for some.

“Many of the graduating high school seniors have been participating in Snider Hockey for more than a decade - a lot of them have spent more time as Snider Hockey students than not,” Sam Napierkowski, Manager of Education Programs, said.

The 2021 Snider Hockey graduating class also was historic. As Napierkowski noted, some of the graduates included the first class of Breakaway Scholars who received scholarships from the Foundation for all four years of high school.

While navigating through hockey and academics, the graduating seniors did not realize how what always has been available to them could suddenly disappear. But this is just what happened when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, 2020. Although it was a challenging time for everyone at Snider Hockey, seniors from the Class of 2021 continued to excel even under these unprecedented circumstances, according to Frank Buggey, Coordinator of High School Programs.  

 “They had to quickly pivot to remote learning, give up their chance to attend Junior prom, and for some students they missed their opportunity to finish out the hockey season,” Buggey said. “But, through all of the adversity this past year, they have come out on top.”

With a lot of hard work, the Snider Hockey senior class was able to stay connected with their hockey, academics, and plans for after high school throughout the pandemic. Based on the lessons learned in their years with Snider Hockey, Buggey is not surprised by how the class responded so productively to such unprecedented times.

 “This group is the epitome of perseverance and I have enjoyed working with them every step of the way,” Buggey said. “I know they will go on to do great and amazing things, regardless of what path they have chosen for after high school.”  

As the senior class wraps up their high school careers, they are focusing their attention on future plans. Some will be taking advantage of collegiate scholarships provided by Snider Hockey as part of the Goals & Assists Scholarship Program.

“We are extremely excited to see where our graduates head off to next,” Napierkowski said. “At least 13 seniors will be receiving a Goals & Assists Scholarship to cover the full or nearly full cost of tuition, fees, and room & board.”

The senior class also continues the long Foundation tradition of sending students to local universities and colleges such as West Chester University, Drexel University, La Salle University, Neumann University, and the Community College of Philadelphia, among others.

“In addition to local schools, many of our graduating students will be heading off to great colleges such as Duke University, Penn State University, and the University of Pittsburgh to just name a few,” Napierkowski said. Other seniors will be taking up other opportunities after graduating from high school such as joining the workforce.

Although their time as Snider Hockey students is nearing its end, members of the Class of 2021 will continue to maintain close ties with the Foundation as active participants in Snider Hockey’s Alumni Program, which provides students with continued support after high school.

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