Archer Hadley

As Interviewed by Ethan Gilbert, March 16, 2015
"I recently talked to an AISD official about my project and how to implement it at other schools. We are all on board about it and are going to try to get it started before summer starts."
Archer Hadley

Introductory Profile: About Archer Hadley

Archer Hadley is a 19-year-old senior at Austin High School who I met in Boy Scouts. Archer was born with Cerebral Palsy, a disability that affects movement, but not speech or thought process. Archer has always fought against discrimination and unfairness toward disabled people. He has done so enthusiastically and optimistically. But as he proudly describes during our interview, when he was locked out of his classroom in the rain with no way in, he decided to do something about it.

Archer started a campaign called the Mr. Maroo Challenge* to raise money so that his school would have electric doors for disabled people who cannot open ordinary doors. By having students pay $20 to ride in and see what if feels like to be in a wheelchair, Archer raised money for the new doors. In the end, Archer raised over $90,000, appeared on television and in the newspaper, and even met Governor of Texas Greg Abbott (who is also in a wheelchair) when he came to Austin High for the grand opening of the doors.

Our interview focused mainly on Archerís goal of helping other disabled people to be treated fairly and inspiring others.

You get the feeling in our interview that social justice towards disabled people has basically been achieved in this case, but Archer says there are still a few people who give him a blank, scared look. He said that what he tries to do is to embrace those people so that they will no longer be afraid of meeting disabled people.

The overall tone of our discussion was uplifting -- like Archer himself. Archer Hadley is a great man and he thrives so that others can be like him.

*Mr. Maroo is the mascot for Austin High School