By Anita Iurlano, SCNA

In the May 10, 2012 edition of the McKnight Journal, Shannon Evans, a senior at Pittsburgh’s North Hills High School, was featured. Last summer, she spent four days with volunteers clearing tornado debris in and around Chattanooga with a group sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. During a car ride between cities, she heard how the SCNs had purchased an emergency response vehicle that could transport volunteers quickly within a 500-mile radius when a disaster struck. Her experiences and first-hand knowledge helped Shannon discover her future career and she enrolled in the University of Akron in Ohio to study emergency management. 

Shannon has been volunteering since second grade when she decided to make get-well cards for a hospital on a floor where her grandmother died. She enjoys interacting with people and her spirit and generosity soar. Through her high school and local YMCA, Shannon has organized Mother’s Day celebrations, dances, walks, food drives, gift collections, including soccer balls and Easter Baskets, and has met with suburban and urban students to break down social and racial barriers. 

In January, Shannon traveled to Belize with SCN volunteers, a multi-denominational group of people ages 18 to 85, to help build a house for a family of 10. The group worked for hours in 85-degree heat and 90-percent humidity days. She watched Belize workers mix cement with their hands and labor with dedication, while she learned to put up a fence and re-mortar a side of a building. She said “When you do things out of the ordinary, you learn more about yourself, than you would in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.”

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