This week’s Texanthropy Spotlight is about a very special Texanthropist - Archer Hadley. Archer was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his entire life in a wheelchair. But he has also spent his entire life using his special circumstances to make life better for others.
During his time as a student at Austin High School, Archer could not enter or exit the school without help, and he was soaked by rain many times. So, he got to work looking for a fix to his predicament. He created a wheelchair challenge to raise money for power doors where Austin High School faculty, students and parents challenged each other to spend a day experiencing life at school in a wheelchair. The challenge raised over $87,000, which enabled the school to install five power operated doors, a ramp, and a roof over the area where Archer got wet. Governor Greg Abbott attended the unveiling of the power doors and praised Archer for his ability to bring the community together and create awareness for those with disabilities. Archer has since taken his wheelchair challenge to five additional high schools and installed another 12 power doors. Archer and fellow students produced a short documentary titled “The Archer Hadley Story” about this, and the documentary was a winner at the White House Student Film Festival and at the SXSW Film Festival.
Archer has received many accolades for his impressive accomplishments, including being appointed by Greg to the Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, winning the Austin Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Award, and most recently the International Carter Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, among others.
Archer now attends the University of Texas at Austin and his latest endeavor is the first annual “Archer’s Challenge” – a citywide event with the goal of improving accessibility for Austinites. “Archer’s Challenge” is next week, and various members of the Austin community will be experiencing life in a wheelchair. To learn more about Archer’s Challenge and how you can participate, visit http://www.archerschallenge.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/ArchsChallenge.
I hope you will join me in celebrating Archer and his amazing philanthropic spirit.