POUGHKEEPSIE – A group of young men from Beacon brought their positive approach to the Poughkeepsie community to raise awareness for their non-profit known as The Label Foundation.
Trey Herring, 21, graduated from Beacon High School in 2016. He and a group of friends including Josiah McCall, Jordan Kolaksoki, Jerry Cervone, and others saw a need to build stronger bonds in the youth of the area and started the foundation. “My friends and I all came from structured families and we are all aware that not every young person was given the same opportunities we had when we were growing up,” said Herring.
The young men, part of “Generation Z,” which consists of the population born between 1996 and 2010, are working to “give back to the kids through youth development,” according to Herring.
On Friday afternoon in Poughkeepsie, the foundation with the assistance of members of the Poughkeepsie High School basketball team, gathered at the Crannell Street parking lot to give away free clothing and sneakers to those in need. Herring and friends conducted the first such giveaway in Beacon a few weeks ago and the event was very successful.
The Poughkeepsie event, publicized on Label’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages drew several people to the event, including Poughkeepsie Common Councilwoman Yvonne Flowers. The lawmaker is familiar with community service, having spent a lifetime of involvement as the daughter of the late John Flowers, known as the “epitome” of helping those in need.
Yvonne and her brother Frankie have continued the Flowers’ legacy and she has endorsed the drive Label. Flowers stopped at the event and was immediately impressed with the energy and ideas that the young men have. “I’m beyond proud of what our young people are doing in our community. The Label Foundation, a group of young men from Beacon, collaborated with our Poughkeepsie Pioneer basketball team in giving away sneakers and clothing today. This is only the beginning of the amazing community work they have in store for the Hudson Valley area. I appreciate their compassion and dedication to give back to their community!”
Senator Sue Serino made a point to stop and meet the members and shared the same enthusiasm as Ms. Flowers. Speaking at the gathering, Senator Serino said “I am in complete awe of this amazing group of young people! Their initiative and drive to give back to our local community is so inspiring and I cannot wait to see all that they’re able to accomplish. We are so fortunate to count them among our neighbors.”
Asked what the purpose of the organization is, Herring pointed to the first sentence of their mission statement which says “We vow to bring people of all walks of life together in order to guide the youth in the right direction.”
Herring said that the members of the foundation are athletes and are planning to organize basketball tournaments throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond as one way to bring teens and young adults together for open and honest exchanges of ideas.
Generation Z is the youngest, most ethnically diverse, and the largest generation in American history, comprising nearly 27 percent of the population.