Our Why

About Jon

The center honors the memory of Jonathan "Jon" Diaz, born on May 11, 1990, in Sunnyside, Washington, to a loving family steeped in Hispanic culture. The importance of family and education was instilled early in his life, framing how he lived and the choices he made. Jon attended Onondaga Central High School and the State University of New York at Brockport. He enjoyed playing lacrosse, football, and basketball during his scholastic years. He also liked to play video games, travel, and care for animals.    

Jon was a very loving individual who often rescued cats and housed them until rehabilitated. The cats never returned to the street because he always saved them or found them a loving home.    

After college, Jon worked in group homes, assisting people with special needs. He taught his clients life skills and coping skills as well as helping them find employment. In addition, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Syracuse City School District utilizing his skills to reach at-risk children. Jon's enthusiasm and commitment was appreciated by students and staff, alike.      

Jon’s commitment to his community was further exemplified by his desire to become a police officer. Five days before his death in 2016, he took and passed the police exam in Syracuse. Jon’s life was true to his values of family, education, and love for all of God’s creations.

Help make a difference

We are in the early stages of development and plan to break ground in 2023 for a grand opening in 2024. Please don't hesitate to send your ideas, proposals, and suggestions my way.