A Hero at CUCS
December 16, 2019

In the aftermath of a tragic event this fall, CUCS resident Antonyo didn’t hesitate to climb onto the tracks to pull a five-year-old girl out from beneath a subway train. Miraculously, he and another bystander were able to bring her to safety.

For their bravery, Antonyo and the other rescuer were honored with a certificate of merit from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. They were also invited to throw the first pitch at a Yankees game—which was a big deal for Antonyo, who is a huge Yankees fan, and can often be seen wearing his favorite Yankees hoodie. “They treated us like were the players,” he recalls. “I really felt special.”

But ultimately, Antonyo cares the most about the well-being of the child they rescued. “That’s who I’m thinking about,” he says. “I realized at the end of the day, she’s the one who’s going to be really traumatized.”

Originally from Tennessee, Antonyo has been living at our Kingsbridge Heights supportive housing program since March. He lives with his partner and two sons, ages two and nine. The family came to CUCS after staying in a shelter, and they are thrilled to have their own apartment now. (Their favorite part? The dishwasher!)

Antonyo hopes that others can get the support that they need, just like he has been able to. “I come from mental illness, too,” he says. “We should seek out to peers, and things like social work and therapy. Some people are scared, though, like me in the past. But in the long run, this really helped me. I really calmed down, I really changed my life.”

One of Antonyo’s greatest passions is music, and he has dreams of becoming a producer. “I eat, sleep, and breathe music,” Antonyo says, his eyes lighting up. His favorite song is “Speedin’” by Omarion.

With his new home at CUCS, Antonyo is able to devote his energy to the things he cares about, from music to playing Fortnite with his kids. “I have so much time now. Due to the situation I was in, coming out of the shelter, I couldn’t just focus because it was a lot more chaos. It wasn’t the time to feel like how I wanted to feel,” he says. “Now. I have a little time, I have my own little room, and things like that. I can give it to my music and catch up on things that I’ve been missing out on.”

We are incredibly proud that Antonyo and his family are part of our CUCS community.