Here are a handful of success stories, highlighting just a few of our outstanding students:
17 year-old Kaseir Archie lives in the Kensington section of Philadelphia and is in the 12th grade at the Bodine High School for International Affairs. He was recently accepted into the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at his school. Kaseir is a part of BuildOn, a program that focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. Outside of school, Kaseir is a player and advocate for Snider Hockey. This past season, Kaseir was the captain of his midget 16-U team. Last summer, he traveled to hockey camp in Minnesota with a few of his teammates, an experience he says put him in the best shape of his life. As a member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Youth Advisory Board, Kaseir wants to take in as much knowledge about health as possible. He wants to learn about his fellow Youth Advisory Board members and meet new people from different environments, so he can have a broader outlook on the health of youth in the U.S.
Mike Chism started playing for Snider Hockey in fall of 2007 as an eighth grader. Growing up in West Philadelphia, his home rink is the Laura Sims Skatehouse at Cobbs Creek Park. After spending his first two years of college at Shippensburg University, Mike transferred to Albright College, where he is currently a junior studying Business Management. He plans to get a degree in Sports Management so he can achieve his dream of working for one of the Philadelphia sports teams. His favorite Snider Hockey memories are his early days with the program, just practicing and playing games on the weekends. In particular, Mike was thrilled to be a member of the inaugural Snider Hockey High School Travel Team. Mike continues to be involved with Snider Hockey when he is home from school by coaching at Sims and helping out with administrative duties at the Hockey Operations office. Mike’s athletic abilities span beyond ice hockey; he is a wide receiver for Albright’s football team.
Saidie Lopez started playing for Snider Hockey in fall of 2008 as freshman in high school. Her home rink is the Flyers Skatezone in Pennsauken, NJ. She is currently a sophomore at Camden County College, where she is on a Stars Student Scholarship as a result of her outstanding high school grades. She plans to transfer to Fairleigh Dickenson University to complete her degree in Sports Management. She also plans to pursue her Masters after she is finished with her bachelor’s degree. Saidie has remained with Snider Hockey past high school graduation as an assistant coach for the Girls Select Travel Team. She is also currently completing a Hockey Operations internship with the Foundation. Her favorite Snider Hockey memory is meeting and introducing Olympic ice hockey player Erika Lawler. She is a member of Rowan University’s Women’s club ice hockey team.
Virlen Reyes grew up in a single-parent household, the oldest of three siblings. Her mother, Glenda Rodriguez, whom Reyes counts among her heroes, was 16 when she gave birth to Reyes. Rodriguez worked multiple jobs to support her family while Reyes played surrogate to her younger brother and sister. Reyes grew up in Kensington, a neighborhood in north Philadelphia known for little aside from drug use, poverty and crime. As a child, Reyes attended Julia de Burgos Elementary, a large school where nearly every student lives at or below the poverty line, according to Philadelphia figures. In a school district hamstrung by budget cuts, school closings and overcrowding, Julia de Burgos stands out as a severe case. Before joining Snider Hockey, she recalls not having direction. "I actually had no goals at all. I had no desire to better myself as a person," Reyes said. She signed up for the Snider hockey program, too. Now, she's a 22 year-old graduate of West Chester University, where she studied philosophy and criminal justice while serving as captain of her Division I Club Hockey team. "The people in the foundation really built me," she said. "It's not just about the sport. The sport drew me in, but what kept me in was the advice and the emotional help I needed to better myself."