Things happen for a reason.
That’s the philosophy Phillip A. Evans has held onto as he navigated the twists and turns of his life. Growing up in New Jersey, Evans was headed down the wrong path and imitated his environment. Fighting, selling drugs and stealing ruled his life, so much so that multiple schools expelled him because of his behavior.
Those poor decisions, he says, is what eventually brought him to Guilford Technical Community College.
“I knew there were only two choices left for me: prison or getting killed,” Evans said.
Despite his struggles, Evans believed those same difficulties also motivated him to change the course of his life. And it began with getting his GED.
Evans, 22 of High Point, completed his GED at GTCC in only eight weeks and graduated in June 2013 from GTCC’s GED program. The youngest of six siblings, Evans is the first in his family to go to college. He’s currently pursuing an associate degree in recording engineering through GTCC’s Entertainment Technologies program.
“I don’t plan on stopping after that,” Evans said. “I plan to keep going.”
GTCC gave Evans drive and focus and unlocked new doors for him. Once he began taking classes, he was hooked and wanted to learn more.
“It’s been keeping me on the right path,” he says. “Before I came to GTCC, I just didn’t care. Now I see I have more things to lose if I kept that attitude.”
One of those things is his four-year-old son, Jakel; he’s the other motivating factor in Evans’ crusade to succeed. Evans wants to be a positive role model for his son, someone that Jakel can look up to. He says he wants to show his son “what I did, what I’m doing, and what I’ve become.”
“For my son’s sake, I changed my life around,” Evans said. “I want to show him a beautiful mind is a wonderful thing to have. I want to show him knowledge is power.”
At GTCC, Evans enjoys the hands-on approach of the faculty and said his confidence has grown and his speech and grammar have improved. He was even selected as a student speaker at the GED graduation where he shared his life story. In addition to pursuing his associate degree, Evans also works 20 hours a week assisting GED students on the High Point Campus, which he says is his way of giving back. “I can now help other students,” he says.
A lover of music, his dream is to one day open his own recording studio. With Evans’ determination, there’s no doubt he will succeed.
— Carla Kucinski/GTCC
Published Nov. 25, 2013