Distinguished Through the Decades: 2018, Alison Hope (Bryant) Evans

Progress 2022: Distinguished Through the Decades

Russellville High School Class of 2018’s Alison Hope Evans – then Bryant – is in the final stages of preparing for her career in elementary education. She is slated to graduate from the University of North Alabama this spring.

“I have always loved children,” said Evans. “I really wanted to be able to be around kids and teach kids because it’s awesome to watch them grow and learn new things.” She said she’s looking forward to spreading her wings and will embrace a teaching opportunity anywhere – but would especially love a fourth-grade classroom. “They are just the sweetest human beings,” she said. “They are in that nice middle stage where they love going to school and learning new things, and it’s just fun to be around them.”

Evans and her husband Nate got married in 2020 – a challenging COVID-19 wedding, fraught with socially-distanced seating and masks. “It was a struggle, but in the end it turned out really good,” said Evans. Their wedding was officiated by her youth pastor, Patrick Horner, who introduced the two. They first began dating in 2017; now, her Marine Corps husband is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, and Evans lives in Russellville and commutes to UNA.

The musically-inclined RHS grad was involved in the Marching Hundred all four years of high school as a member of the color guard – an interest she has been able to continue in college as a member of the UNA Color Guard. “I love the RHS band program. Being a part of the band program is really what helped me make friends my freshman year,” said Evans, who also found her niche in high school in groups including the FBLA, Christian Students United at the National Honor Society. Her college experience, she said, has been “absolutely amazing.” “I have made so many new friends and learned so much.”

When it comes to Distinguished Young Women, Evans found her way to the program through participating as a Little Sister in the years leading up to her chance to compete in the main event. “The actual participants are your mentor for the week,” noted Evans, who participated as a Little Sister for two years. She said it was a good way to get an inside look at how it all works, enjoying a small taste by doing a dance during the evening with fellow Little Sisters and introducing her “big sister’s” talent.

For her own talent, Evans leveraged her color guard experience to perform a rifle and flag routine – something a little outside the box. “It was one of the first times they’d had a rifle and flag routine at state,” she said. For the local competition, she said she particularly enjoyed – and benefited from – the interview component. “I love to talk, and that was something I knew was going to help me in the future, and I know that helped me enjoy it even more,” said Evans, who later had complete confidence interviewing to be accepted into the teaching program at UNA – confidence she credits, at least in part, to her DYW participation.

“It is very much worth the time and effort you have to put in,” she said. “It holds a special place in my heart … It’s really inspiring to see all the girls getting to do things they love and speak out things they love.” Among the many friends she made, Evans said three of them – her counterpart DYW winners of Colbert and Lauderdale counties, in fact – are all in the education program together at UNA.

Evans said she enjoyed returning to help with DYW the following year and hopes to continue to return in the years to come, helping to ensure DYW’s future.

“It’s an amazing program to grow in and be part of.”