Doyon Foundation student, Judith Evans, has a lot on her plate. In addition to going to school four nights a week, Evans works full-time, raises her 10-year-old son, and is very active in the community.
Originally from Rampart, Evans currently lives in Fairbanks, where she is pursuing an associate’s degree in construction management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After graduating in 2009, Evans plans to continue working in the construction industry. Eventually, she would like to obtain a degree in business management.
Currently, Evans works as an estimator for Kakivik Asset Management, a contractor for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. She said both companies have provided her with incredible support and opportunities. For example, she has been to the field with a survey crew and has also visited Pump Station 1, Pump Station 9, and the Copper River area.
“These were opportunities that they did not have to provide, but were happy to accommodate me in my educational journey,” Evans said.
In addition to her school and work, Evans is also busy in the community. She was on the project planning team for the recent Elders and Youth Conference, and participated in the Arctic Institute for Indigenous Leadership. Evans is also participating in Doyon’s Management Training program and is involved with Doyon Foundation’s new alumni association.
Out of all of her activities, though, Evans said her most important job is being a mother to her son, Ryan.
“I try and go to work early so I can spend time with him prior to my classes. I have learned to be flexible and not be too hard on myself if things do not go as planned,” she said.
While Evans said she faces challenges in her educational journey everyday, she said the financial support she has received from the Doyon Foundation has been very helpful.
“Being a single parent and attending school creates many challenges and opportunities for growth,” she said. “The funding alleviates other problems that may be keeping me from fully focusing on my studies.”
In terms of advice, Evans encourages other students to seek out and take advantage of the unlimited opportunities available to them.
“So many doors have been opened for me, and all it took for me was to fill out that form, make that call, ask that question and never give up. Do not settle if you are not satisfied,” she said.
Evans also recommends that students find a mentor in their field of study.
“My mentor, Julia Redington, used to tell me I could be a construction manager…I did not believe her. Now I am here and my dream is becoming a reality,” she said.
The support of her family, and especially the example set by the women in her family, also inspires Evans.
“I have some awesome, strong women in my family that never give up on me and set precedent. For example, the impact my Aunt George has had on people amazes me. It sets the precedent for the person I am working hard to be and becoming, slowly each day,” said Evans, who is the daughter of Paul and Linda Evans, and the granddaughter of Peter and Kitty Evans.