Zion Imani Ervin, affectionately known as “Zee” is a 16-year-old 10th grade student at Santiago High School. She is on the honor roll, vice president of the BSU (Brothers and Sister’s United club) and the starting point guard on her Jr Varsity Basketball team. Zion was born January 13, 2003 to Bishop William T Ervin and Co Pastor Kimberly Ervin, Pastors of Church One Ministries in Long Beach. Zion has 2 older sisters, Khristian and Brea and one older brother William Jr. whom she trails by 11 years. You could say she was a pleasant surprise to her parents and family. Zion also has a 10-year-old niece she cherishes, named Amani.
Zion has always been a serious, independent, inquisitive child. Some say, Zion is mature beyond her years. Her mother says from the time Zion could talk, she was always asking deep and complicated questions that often led to a search on Google. She loves to read and research, shop at vintage stores, and like most young people, she lives for snap chat.
Zion has always been compassionate, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. She has a big heart for the poor and disadvantaged. When Zion was a young child, she would chastise her mother and older siblings if they drove past a homeless person without offering a handout.
In 2012 on her 9th birthday, Zion decided that she did not want birthday gifts because she had so much already. That year, she asked her family, church family and friends to donate shoes instead of buying her gifts. Zion’s first donation was to Flood Gates of Faith Women and Children’s Homeless Shelter in Compton, CA, under the direction of the late, Ms. Rosie Pilar. In 2014, Zion donated shoes to children at the Fred Jordan Rescue Mission on Skid Row. In 2017, Zion decided she wanted to step her game up and take her shoe drive to another level. She came up with the name “Ervin Laces” and became a nonprofit, 501c3 with the State of California.
Last year, Ervin Laces Inc. went global when Zion donated shoes to a group of children and teens from an orphanage in Uganda.
Zion’s ultimate dream is to expand her nonprofit. She wants to open a Youth Center with a gym, and a warehouse that will provide young people with shoes, and a variety of other resources.