It’s Men’s Month! At KellyFairtheMentor.com we are highlighting positive male role models in the Chicago community…and you should meet them!
Our first feature will be on Mr. Shayne Evans. Mr. Evans is the CEO and Director of University of Chicago Charter Schools. “Through effective leadership, Evans works to strengthen the collaborations that exist among the four campuses and create new partnerships to leverage the expertise of teachers, leaders, counselors, social workers, tutors, and after-school providers.” This is apparent through his collaboration with Polished Pebbles. The Donoghue, NKO, and Woodlawn campuses host the Polished Pebbles mentoring program for their young ladies.
We had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Evans on three important questions!
What lead you to start supporting Polished Pebbles?
From the beginning, Mr. Shayne Evans was a “huge believer in Kelly’s vision for young ladies.” Through conversations, he could tell that Kelly see the potential, power, and futures of these girls. Her vision matched his for his young ladies at UC Charter Schools. He was heavily impressed by Kelly’s connections to entrepreneurial and well-rounded people, who became her network of mentors and role models for his young ladies. He says that, “her optimism and positive approach helps her to overcome obstacles”. Due to all of this, Mr. Evans had no other option, but to bring Polished Pebbles to some of his campuses.
Thank you Mr. Evans for seeing Polished Pebble’s potential! Because we see the same in your young ladies at UC Charters!
What is one crisis you see young, African-American girls facing? How can we intervene?
Mr. Evans finds that “often society presents stereotypical views of young African-American ladies”. Because of this, their exists a “belief gap of what black and brown young ladies…are capable of”. This can be detrimental to the way we treat these young ladies in the school system. He sees the UC Charter Schools and Polished Pebbles Mentoring Program as positive interventions. They help to create “counter narratives” of young African-American ladies. Together, they “reestablish a vision” of these young ladies as “leaders, problem-solvers, innovators, engineers, and role models”.
His response reminds us of a previous article on KellyFairtheMentor.com. Click here to listen to Chimamanda Adichie speak about stereotypes and how they affect self-development.
What advice do you have for other male mentors?
His advice for male role models is to develop positive, professional relationships youth, especially young ladies. Mr. Evans believes this can be done by being both warm and demanding. You want to establish and maintain high expectations–“academically, behaviorally, socially”. These supportive relationships can truly help girls as they grow. He wants men to come together and work as a community to create positive opportunities for youth–“it is a joint effort”!
At KellyFairtheMentor.com and Polished Pebbles, we want to thank Mr. Shayne Evans for both taking the time to speak with us and for believing in our girls! Thank you for being such a positive male role model for young African American ladies, keep spreading your message!