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."