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September 15, 2010

Evans takes time for children at VICCC

By: Jimmy Robertson

Darren Evans with children at VICCC.

Darren Evans certainly enjoyed a busy summer, though it did not entail vacations, beaches or anything else resembling relaxation.

It consisted, more or less, of working a part-time job and working out in preparation for the 2010 season.

Yet Evans took some time out of his demanding schedule to give back to a group of people whom he loves – kids.

Earlier this summer, Evans visited the Valley Interfaith Child Care Center in Blacksburg and read to the young children as part of Herma’s Readers, a charity that head coach Frank Beamer founded in honor of his deceased mother, who was a school teacher. Formed in 2004, the VICCC is a wonderful organization that provides high-quality, affordable childcare to the children of low-income working families in the New River Valley.

The center runs primarily through the contributions of those within the community, and it helps prepare young children for kindergarten. In all, about 115 children have been impacted.

Evans, a redshirt junior at Tech, and his wife, Taneesha, send their 3-year-old son James to the center. Taneesha works, while Evans goes to classes and attends practices.

“I have a son, so it comes natural to me to be in front of those little guys like that,” Evans said “I don’t get nervous because they look up to you. When I was asked to do it, it was an easy ‘Yes’ because I can relate to it so much, just by having James around.”

Evans’ visit represented another example of his giving of his time to young children, and the latest example of a student-athlete giving back to the community. Before his latest visit to VICCC, he had spoken to kids at an elementary school in Salem.

“I do enjoy it,” Evans said. “I have experience with it, and it’s always cool to see how they react. Then at the end, you ask them if they have any questions and the questions are all about football. It’s like they never even heard the book. But it’s fun.

“It’s a different side of the fans. You have the older people who want the autographs and stuff like that, but those kids, they don’t care about autographs. They just want to be around you.”

Evans’ time spent with the children also provides him with the opportunity to do something he loves – act like a kid.

“It’s fun to be around kids,” he said. “You can act goofy and silly and not have to worry about what people think. Kids always like funny stuff. That’s me, I like to be goofy and wrestle around with them.”

He represents one of the best examples to children as well. In addition to being a father and a talented football player, he’s a solid student. He plans on graduating in December with a degree in sociology.