The school year is coming to a close, but the legacy of Ernie Davis thrives as local students were awarded the Ernie Davis Memorial Scholarship today.
Every year, student athletes commit their time and innovation to earn the honorable Ernie Davis Scholarship.
To qualify for the $15,000 award, high school senior applicants, in our area, are asked to either dedicate 44 hours to spread the word of Davis’ life or, create a project about his profound legacy.
Garret Andreine, senior graduate and wrestler at Elmira High school, did both.
He established a fitness trail at Tanglewood Nature Center with fun facts about Davis’ life and exercises to improve fitness.
“I’ve been volunteering there for a long time and Tanglewood was really important to me as a child, so I knew that the Ernie Davis project was about giving back and it was just a way of helping out Tanglewood as I have helped out them,” Andreine, recipient of the Ernie Davis Scholarship, said. “And then also, it just seemed fitting to do a fitness inspired thing the way Ernie inspired others.”
“He really honored, I think, both the strength and the community mindedness of Ernie Davis and it has really been a treat to see it out now that people are hiking, that they’re doing exercises, that they’re really taking it for all it’s worth,” Bridget Sharry, Community Relations Manager at Tanglewood Nature Center, said.
The trail runs a little over a mile with markers, extending the influence Davis continues to make.
Along with this award, there’s the $6,000 Marty Harrigan Award, in memory of Davis’ football coach.
Jan Ziembicki spread the word of Davis, internationally…in Polish.
He came to the United States at 3-years-old. Ziembicki used his bilingual abilities to create presentations, articles and Youtube videos, all in his native language.
“To be honored in his name is really a great accomplishment for me, so I think, I’m really grateful for receiving this award but at the same time, I think it’s more important to highlight how his word was spread,” Ziembicki, recipient of the Marty Harrigan Award, said.
Year after year, students strive to be more like Davis as they expand the horizons of his legacy.