Editor’s Notice: That is the fourth in a collection of articles honoring Black Historical past Month.
Evon Hernandez remembers being the focal point with the Dunkirk Excessive College soccer crew throughout their run to the state Last 4. It made an ideal impression.
“I noticed how the neighborhood got here collectively once we did our soccer profession in 2017”, he stated. “I’ve all the time loved the help and the way the neighborhood comes collectively when one thing good occurs.”
A lifelong resident of the town, he was born in 1999 and graduated in 2017. He then went on to Jamestown Enterprise Faculty for 2 years and earned an affiliate’s diploma in advertising and marketing and administration.
Shortly after Hernandez reunited with associates from highschool to kind the Small City, Huge Minds podcast as a method to unfold unity in the neighborhood. “My pal AJ Morales got here as much as me and stated we should always do a podcast after which Chris Rodríguez had the crew and Raúl Rosado was one in all our greatest associates, so we stated let’s do a podcast.” Hernandez stated. “We had been brainstorming concepts in the future and we puzzled if we may manage a giant competition with all races and all ethnicities right here after which that turned the mural.”
Shortly afterwards got here the ice rink close to the previous College 6 on Benton Road, one other challenge devised by the podcast. “The ice rink happened as a result of in the course of the winter months there may be actually nothing to do. You may go to the college, however it’s extra centrally situated. “ Hernandez stated.
Hernandez, who just isn’t one to brag, was caught with all the eye the ice rink acquired from the media, which unfold to Buffalo. “It was fairly spectacular, I actually did it simply to do it, I used to be actually blown away by all of the hype.”
Hernandez’s most up-to-date effort is teaching Dunkirk’s JV basketball crew, a job that actually fell into his lap. “I used to be sitting at house in the future and the previous coach, Billy Pittman, could not prepare anymore as a consequence of work.” Hernández started. “So Luke Gullo contacted me, having met me from the basketball fields within the Salvation Military and he was greater than prepared to just accept it.”
Hernández works within the Salvation Military as a leisure program assistant in basketball leagues and after college applications. He additionally headed a soccer camp that he runs along with Morales in the summertime. The camp ran two years in a row earlier than COVID arrived.
When requested in regards to the stress within the African American neighborhood as a result of altering dynamics with the police and race relations, Hernández stated that “in the US I feel it has been a little bit loopy, it’s extra to take sides than to hitch.
“If you’re on one aspect, you simply need to suppose on that aspect as an alternative of doing the precise factor.” Hernandez stated. “Round right here, as a result of the police are from right here that I do know of, they perceive what everybody goes by way of, so it by no means reaches the extent that I’ve seen, I hope it by no means reaches that stage. It’s a query of selecting a aspect and that’s mistaken. Unity is essential to me. I’ve seen households and associates cut up up due to that, I actually would not wish to lose household or associates to one thing that should not be mentioned. “