STORIES
Peacemakers

Nickole Evans

Nickole Evans is 16 years old, but she has been a volunteer and peacemaker for a number of years already. Two years ago, in conjunction with the World Junior Peace Summit, Evans created a web site which she hopes will help young people share their feelings about violence--both in school and elsewhere. This site, www.y2kyouth.org, covers issues of concern to young people from race and religion to overpopulation.

Nickole grew up in a low-income area of Kennewick, a town in southeastern Washington State. Kennewick is a place where immigrants and refugees often arrive when relocating to the United States. Since early childhood, Evans has played with children from Nigeria, Ukraine, Mexico, Bosnia, and Kosovo. She has always been a natural peacemaker, resolving conflicts between her peers, working as a volunteer for local nonprofit organizations such as the Arborwood Learning Center, where immigrants take English classes.

In February 1998, Evans and a friend were beaten by a gang of Bosnian kids. In spite of having been hurt, Evans found the strength and courage to choose peace over retaliation, to reconcile with the families of her assailants, and to double her efforts in facilitating the adaptation of Bosnian youth traumatized by war to peaceful coexistence with others in her neighborhood.

Evans averages 200 hours volunteering per year. She has given hundreds of hours in the community working as a camp volunteer for developmentally disabled youth, stocking shelves at the food bank, cleaning up yards for senior citizens, playing games with residents at a nursing home, and reading to young children.

Evans, who has been trained in Dispute Resolution and Peer Mediation, helps teachers establish programs aimed at creating Safe Schools and providing alternatives to youth violence. She started a local branch of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), convincing her friends, family, and neighbors to join.

Evans now uses her technological expertise to develop a web site, "Youth Speak Out," in which she shares her thoughts on the topics of violence, racism, religious wars, and poverty.

Not only has she educated herself on how to use computer technology in pursuit of her goals, Nickole, with her unbelievable determination and resolution, teaches others techniques to use the Web to advocate peace and non-violence.

Nickole has become a role model for other kids, encouraging them to take action and help others. For this and all her other efforts she has been honored at the United Nations on the International Day of Tolerance with the Peace & Tolerance Award in the category of Technology, and by MIT's Jr. Summit where she took part in a global meeting of teenagers who seek to use technology to improve the quality of life for all people.

When asked about her public recognition and media attention, Evans says "what is more important to me is [that] I have gotten friends to help the community. The more of us that are helping others, the better our world will be."

Page created on 8/15/2014 12:02:33 AM

Last edited 8/15/2014 12:02:33 AM

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Extra Info

Read Ethan Stone's story about Nickole Evans

 

Author Info

Nickole Evans was one of the winners of the "Very Best In Youth" award co-sponsored by Nestle and Reading is Fundamental ("RIF").

Have you inspired your peers to do their very best? Are you proud of your outstanding achievements? If you are a US citizen, between the ages of 9-18 years old, and want to apply for this honor please contact Reading is Fundamental.