Memorial Day 2019, the Capital Region lost another young soul at the hands of violence. Ayanna Hunter, 20 years old was shot and killed during a family barbecue. Ayanna was born in Schenectady, NY in which her parents reached out to me while I was working at New Covenant Charter School in Albany, NY. Her parents thought she would be a good fit academically and essentially play for our basketball team. As a fourth grader Ayanna played on the 6th grade team in which she started at point guard and that year she was named MVP of the Police Athletic League Tournament, she was that talented and everyone loved playing alongside of her. She went on the play for Albany High School, in which she play all four of her high school years at the varsity level. She went on lead her team to a Section 2 title and she was named Channel 13 News All-Star and a host of many other awards. She was a great student, daughter, sister, friend and everyone loved #3. As her elementary school coach and mentor I felt so much pain and agony knowing I wished I could’ve done more to save her from the violence we face today. I wish I did more, I wish I had a chance to steer her in the right direction as often our youth fall on the broken path. Ayanna, will forever be in my heart as I will desperately try to break the cycle of this violent behavior that undermines what God has in store for us.
Love is the only cure for hate.