Name: Evelyn Spain
Birthplace and/or where you grew up: I was born on in Meadow Long Island and grew up in the famous town of Amityville.
Where do you currently call home? Presently I reside in a Centreville, Virginia
Occupation: I am a Program Manager
Favorite part about the job: My favorite part of my job is helping Small Businesses grow in their field of expertise to eventually become competitive in their pursuit of winning government contracts.
Your first job ever: I remember my first job was working as a volunteer aid working in a summer camp for kids with cerebral palsy. It was extremely rewarding.
Favorite Book/Currently Reading: My favorite book is The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I also love novels by James Baldwin. If Beale Street Could Talk, which has recently been made into a movie. His books taught me so much about how life can be a journey that does not always have the ending one would expect. I am currently reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.
Comfort Food: Who doesn’t love ice cream, baked macaroni and cheese, and lobster. Oh, you only asked for one.
What’s playing in your car right now? Smooth jazz
Next journey? I have a vacation planned to visit the major cities in Italy
Favorite Virginia destination? Virginia Beach. I will always have fond memories as it was the last fun beach trip I had with my mom, cousins, daughter, and husband.
First political memory? As a child, I would sit around the dinner table listening to political debates my parents and their friends would discuss. I remember the discussions around Martin Luther King’s influence on President Lyndon B Johnson signing into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Best advice you ever received? My grandmother said “You’re never too old to do something good.”
If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, who would it be and why? I would have dinner with Oprah Winfrey. Such a phenomenal woman who has tremendous knowledge and generosity as she has shared her so much of her time and energy and money with her school for young girls in Africa. She can go toe to toe with all the major politicians, Hollywood actors, and actresses and still seems to remain grounded. I so admired her in the role of Sophia in the movie “The Color Purple”. She made Sophia a fierce force to be reckoned with. Years later, she would become the executive producer of the Broadway Musical for “The Color Purple.” The musical was just as outstanding as the book and movie When Maya Angelo wrote the poem “Phenomenal Women” I can clearly see Oprah emulating that character.
One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you? I love to make gift baskets. I would design custom made baskets for special occasions and I even had a couple of clients who requested my baskets for their corporate holiday parties.
Ambition, political or otherwise? As far as my political ambitions, I want to be an influencer. One who is able to speak at rallies, conferences, schools, churches as such to ignite the interest and most of all importance of voting in the amongst people who are are necessarily drawn to politics. Helping people understand the importance of voting at the local level. Once we vote in our Delegates, Congressmen, and Senators, we then have the support needed to make changes at the executive level.
Favorite part about the PLP so far? I have many favorites about PLP, but I think the number one favorite is meeting the people in the class and building relationships. People one would never expect connected to the Governor or the Attorney General or one of our Senators. There are those who are major thinkers and movers and shakers within their own community such as local politicians. My experiences with visiting the other localities Virginia has opened my eyes and mind of how great life can be outside of Northern Virginia. The visit to the coal mine was an experience that many people will never have. The guys were so kind and patient and brave and smart. I was deeply impressed with our visit to Marion. If I could work in Ken’s Office I would strongly consider moving to Marion. Everyone in that town absolutely loved their job. Southwest Virginia had a significantly positive impact on me and how not to judge a book by its geographical location.