The Houston Dynamo are aiming to raise $21,000 via a GoFundMe page to allow Under-15 forward Jhosua Jory and his family to remain in the Houston area after a family tragedy destabilized their lives. The funds would cover monthly expenses for food, rent and other costs.
The pressing need arose after Jory’s stepfather, Jhon Quinones, tragically passed away on Nov. 9. He was the main source of income for the Jory family since Jhosua’s mother, Ximena Quinones, is on a student visa while completing her accounting degree at Houston Community College.
The family is originally from Colombia, and Houston academy director Paul Holocher said the GoFundMe page was established out of a desire to do the right thing. Further, he feels the academy’s purpose extends beyond the field and into helping others.
“We always look to impart and teach our players about character, and we're always talking to them about how we behave, how we treat the opponent, how we treat the referee, how we thank our parents for supporting the kids,” Holocher said. “When a situation comes up like this, it's the role of the academy to show that character and help this young person — not just a player — continue on a great path.”
The gesture hasn’t been lost on Quinones, who’s been balancing work, school and family in the wake of profound loss.
"As soon as he got home, I sat with him and told him we would have to go back to Colombia to continue with our lives because we have everything there," Jhosua’s mother, Quinones, said through a translator. "His face of frustration and hurt showed when he told me that his season hadn’t ended yet and that he wanted so badly to be part of the Dynamo.
"Since that day, I decided I would continue to fight to stay to give my son a chance to continue pursuing his dream. I understood that because of what was happened to our family, the meaning for Jhosua to continue his journey with the Dynamo was bigger and solely for him."
Jory, 14, is a freshman in high school who joined from Texans SC Houston for the 2019-20 academy season. While it’s likely too soon to tell if Jory would make the first team, Holocher called him a “player of really strong potential.”
Perhaps one day, if Jory and his family can remain in the Houston area long-term, he’d join defender Erik McCue and midfielder Memo Rodriguez as Homegrown Players on the first team.
“He's an attack-minded player, very fast and skillful, so he's a handful for the opposing team,” Holocher said. “At the same time, he's a very humble young man and he's incredibly coachable and thankful. Looking at the whole package together, he’s just a good young person.”
As of writing this story, the GoFundMe page had raised $8,650 – just over 40% of its goal. The Dynamo have estimated that necessary costs are $3,000 per month over a seven-month span, hence the $21,000 mark.
Should that pan out, Quinones stressed how grateful they’d be, and not just for Jory being able to further chase his professional soccer dream in an MLS environment.
"When he finally was able to go to the team’s tryouts that he had waited for for three years, us as parents felt that he was making his dreams a reality," Quinones said. "With discipline, perseverance and patience, he was finally able to get a spot in his longtime dream team. It was then when my husband and I felt Jhosua was slowly but steadily making his goals come true. After that day, Jhosua's life changed."
To donate to the GoFundMe Page, check out this dedicated link.