Friday, April 19, 2013
A Georgetown native who has devoted his life to helping young people reach their potential is now working with a national organization to reach even more youth.
Donald H. Evans is the new chief professional officer at the Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club of Kosciusko/Attala County, located in Kosciusko, Miss.
Evans, a son of James and Oddie Evans, grew up in the West End section of the City of Georgetown, near the International Paper Mill, and graduated from Howard High School.
He then went on to graduate from the USC Coastal Carolina College (now Coastal Carolina University).
Evans said when he was growing up, it seemed like the only options for employment were the local mills or hotels in Myrtle Beach.
“If I had limited myself to those options I wouldn’t be in a position running a $1.5 million organization,” Evans said. “I want young people to grow up really looking at their options.”
He said young people need to live out their dreams.
“But in order to live out your dreams, you must have dreams,” Evans said. “In order to be successful, you cannot let others dictate who you will be. Get as much education as you can and don’t be afraid to step out on life.”
He urges the public to support Boys and Girls Clubs and other groups that help young people.
When asked if he has met Oprah Winfrey in person, his answer was, “Not yet,” but he hopes to meet her in August during a planned fundraiser.
He said the Boys and Girls Club is located in Kosciusko, MS because that is where Winfrey grew up and he did get to meet her aunt.
It serves more than 500 kids ages 5 to 19. There is also another unit in Leak County, Miss.
In addition to lending the club her name, she also lends some support financially and is featured in motivational videos for the youth, he said.
Friends and family
Henry and Viola Greene, Evans’s aunt and uncle who live in Georgetown, said they are very proud of the road he has taken in life.
“He’s always been a very good young man,” Viola Greene said.
“I think his success should inspire young people from Georgetown. Even if young people don’t know who he is, some of the parents do and they can always point to a person who lived here, went to school here, and followed his dreams.”
Evans has three sisters in the area, Gloria Evans and Dee Evans, both of Georgetown, and Abertha Campbell of Myrtle Beach; and two sons who live in Georgetown, Carlos Greene and Desiray Evans.
Donald Gilliard, a local political advisor, was Evans’s best friend as they were growing up in Georgetown. He said he is not surprised by Evans’s success.
“(Evans) has a passion for helping troubled youth and that is something that has always been a part of his life,” Gilliard said.
“He chose the right career path, working with youth in these perilous times. It is work that is much needed.”
For more information about the Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcattala.org.
By Clayton Stairs