A day in the life of ... Dema Kovalenko
Ted, Cathy, Matt, Chris and Susie. When I came to Rochester, I couldn't speak English very well. The family who originally helped me come over ran into some problems and I had to leave. The Hershey's picked me up one morning for school and had about 10 minutes to decide whether they could take me in or not. I was going to have to go home if they couldn't.
They took me in on the spot and made me feel like a part of the family. They took me into their house and took care of me. Ted and Cathy treated me just like I was one of their own kids. My adopted family has been a huge part of my life. Whenever I needed help the most, they were there for me and I will never forget that.
At halftime of the game, I was named "Rochester's favorite soccer son." I was very happy to receive the award. To be honored by Rochester is an honor. When my playing career is over, I would love to return to Rochester. To be honest, it won't be easy for me to go there, because it is a small town compared to Washington, D.C. or Chicago. I lived in Chicago for four-and-a-half years and I've been here for a couple of years -- hopefully I'll be here longer -- and it's hard for me to go back. But Rochester is like my second home. I have a lot of friends there and it's a great place to raise a family. You can never forget where you came from and a lot of who I am was developed in Rochester, N.Y.