Kandace London ’11: Life After Archer

Shelby Mumford and Logan Connors December 18, 2015 1
Kandace London ’11: Life After Archer
One of the many activities London participates in at the University of Southern California (USC) is Student Government. The photo above is a promotional image that was used to encourage students to join the school's Executive Cabinet. Photo courtesy of Kandace London '11.

Kandace London ’11 has been an active member of the Archer community since her arrival in 2007 and continues to contribute to the community even after graduation.

Kandace London (bottom left) poses with the other senior dancers for 2011's dance showcase, Beyond Words

Kandace London (bottom left) poses with the other senior dancers for 2011’s dance showcase, Beyond Words

Her compassion and leadership skills were present in all of the activities she participated in during her time at Archer.

The late photography teacher Harris Hartsfield was London’s advisor for her junior and senior years. London said he always encouraged her to be unapologetically herself.

“I never met a person who was not a part of my family who believed in me as much as he did,” London wrote in an email interview.

Upper School Director Samantha Coyne-Donnel worked with London in Student Council during her time as Dean of Students.

“Kandace was such a positive, optimistic leader, and she was really able to just bridge a lot of different perspectives in the school and really unify the community,” Coyne-Donnel said. “I appreciated that about Kandace.”

During her last year at Archer, London’s class dean Brian Wogenson witnessed just how creative she could be.

“Our family program was her brainchild,” he said. “She came up with it, developed it, helped organize it, brought in the kind of strategies of how this was going to be presented to the students.”

“I think she noticed something that she thought was missing — this kind of connection between all the grade levels,” he said.

London’s Family Friday program is a part of her legacy at Archer. The program connects girls from different grades and encourages sisterhood amongst the Archer girls.

Dance program coordinator Andrea Locke also chimed in on London’s accomplishments and guidance.

“She was in charge of costumes [for dance], and she would make sure that everyone was doing what they were supposed to do. She would keep me on my job because I was always the lenient one,” Locke said. 

Kandace London promoting USC's EdMonth, a month-long campaign to explore and discuss various aspects of American education. Photograph courtesy of Kandace London.

Kandace London promoting USC’s EdMonth, a month-long campaign to explore and discuss various aspects of American education. Photograph courtesy of Kandace London.

London’s dedication to dance gave her the courage to try a solo dance for Archer’s annual Night of Dance event. Locke encouraged her to explore her artistic expression through dance, even though she was not a trained dancer.

After graduating from Archer in 2011, London continued her education at the University of Southern California (USC).

London said her experiences at Archer helped her adjust to college life.

“The transition was pretty easy for me academically and socially,” she wrote. “I felt comfortable participating in class and adjusting to the workload that I was given.”

Being a part of student government in college is different than student council in high school, London said.

“Before this experience, I had no prior knowledge about the specific details regarding elections on campus, but I made it my personal mission to educate myself about the event because it was crucial to the continuation of the organization,” she wrote.

Upon arriving to USC, London planned to study International Relations because she loved her AP Human Geography class taught by History Teacher Bethany Neubauer. She ended up studying International Relations and Sociology.

“I was more interested in how people from different societies interact and collaborate with one another to create effective change. My [concentration] was on gender, culture, and civil society, which led me to my second major, sociology. Sociology allowed me to study people’s behaviors and how it operates in the overall society,” she wrote.

“I applied to a progressive degree program in Public Administration that allowed me to complete my undergrad and my masters in five years,” London wrote.

Her study in Public Administration will give London the tools to be a leader in the public sector.

“My focus has been on non-profit management. However, I am looking into getting into cause marketing or corporate social responsibility,” London wrote.

London has continued her commitment to community service, which continues to be leading factor in the direction her life is taking.

She has been involved with organizations such as the Public Counsel, where she helped people navigate the public service system and meet their basic needs for shelter and food.

She is also passionate about gender and racial equality.

“Our current racial climate in the United States begs for us to reevaluate and assess how we value each other as human beings and what we can do to create a more just society,” London wrote. “Around the world and still in America, people do not believe women are equal to men.”

“In 2015, it is a problem that we are still discussing the same issues we discussed 60 years ago,” she wrote. 

London has also been known to give back to those around her. For example, she makes time to help out her younger sister, Marisa London ’14, even with her busy schedule.

Sisters, Kandace and Marisa London spending time together at Disneyland. Both were student body president at Archer. Photo courtesy of Marisa London

Sisters Kandace and Marisa London spending time together at Disneyland. Both were student body presidents at Archer. Photo courtesy of Marisa London.

Young Kandace and Marisa London. The sisters came to Archer in 2007. Photo courtesy of Marisa London

Young Kandace and Marisa London. The sisters began Archer in 2007. Photo courtesy of Marisa London.












“She goes out of her way to make sure that she’s always there for me. I will be sending her a paper I’m going to be turning in later this week for her to read over tonight and she probably doesn’t have time for it but knowing her she will make time for it,” Marisa London said. “She does that a lot, she even proofread half of my Archer papers. She’s really great.”

“I lived in Ontario, California. I would travel from the Inland Empire everyday and I always took the late bus. We had to be out of the house by 5:30 AM everyday to make the bus stop at 7:00 AM,” London wrote. “I believe the admissions office said my sister and I had the longest commute to get to Archer back when we attended.”

Made by Logan Connors '17 with Piktochart.

Made by Logan Connors ’17 with Piktochart.

London continues to encourage Archer girls from outside its walls.

“Cherish your days within the walls of Archer because they come to an end sooner than you think,” she wrote. “Take chances. Dare to be different.”

“It will be very rare to find another environment where you can test the limits and be encouraged to think out of the box like you can at Archer,” she wrote.

One Comment »

  1. Ms. Gold December 19, 2015 at 8:20 AM -

    Great article profiling Candace, Shelby and Logan. Her commitment and leadership in fighting for social justice is inspirational. Do you have her contact info? I would love to have her speak at our Diversity Conference or on an alumna panel of some sort. Thanks for reminding Archer of this outstanding alumna.