||Grover Evans, Ph.D., motivational
speaker, educator, business consultant and life-long resident of Arkansas,
uses his education and life experiences to enrich the lives of others.
Through God, he attempts to show others there is hope in faith. His
motto is "Believe in Yourself."
Ph.D., motivational speaker, educator and business consultant, is
a life-long resident of
Arkansas who has represented the State in many capacities. Dr. Evans
holds a Bachelors Degree in Music
and Health Education from Arkansas State University (ASU) and is
a graduate of ASU Regional Leaders
Program. He received his Doctorate in Nutrition Counseling from
LaSalle University, cum laude. Dr Evans has served on a host of
boards and committees; locally, state wide and nationally. His education
and life experiences have afforded him the ability to speak on a
wide variety of subjects. He has an unselfish commitment to enrich
the lives of the people of Arkansas and the nation as a whole. Consequently,
he has chosen to spend much of his time traveling throughout the
state and country speaking to groups on nutrition, health education,
goal setting, self-esteem, diversity and drug abuse.
Included in his experiences is the unfortunate
accident that left Dr Evans a quadriplegic. On one Saturday many
years ago while Dr. Evans was working for the Jonesboro Sun newspaper,
he received a call notifying him that a close friend's mother had
died. He had just finished a double shift but decided to drive to
Newport, Arkansas immediately after work to be by his friend's side.
Unfortunately, his shift did not end until midnight that night,
so it was very late before he departed Jonesboro for the drive to
Newport. He arrived in Newport and after spending several hours
with his friend, Dr. Evans decided to return to Jonesboro. It was
very early in the morning when he decided to leave but since he
had an appointment for photo shoot scheduled for 10:00 a.m., he
felt obligated to return to Jonesboro. Even though his friend urged
him to stay in Newport, Dr. Evans decided to stick to his schedule.
He thanked them for their concern and upon leaving, held their hands
and said "I leave you in God's hands." Little did he know
that he would be the one in God's hands early that fateful morning.
About 20 miles from Newport, he fell asleep
at the wheel of his car. His vehicle went off the road and hit a
culvert, causing it to flip over several times before landing nose
first in a ditch. Although conscious, he did not
realize the severity of his injuries. A local farmer found him and
called for help. From there, Dr. Evans was taken to St. Bernard's
Hospital in Jonesboro and then transported to Baptist Hospital in
Tragically, he was completely paralyzed from the neck down. His
personal physician stayed at his side for two days, during which
Dr. Evans legally died twice. During a third arrest. Dr. Evans had
what is referred to as an
"out of body experience" and was fully aware of his death,
his circumstances and his surroundings.
The journey to wellness was
long and painful and continues to be a challenge for him even today.
However, Faith and hope have sustained him through this awesome
journey of recovery and have brought him to where he is today. There
were many times when he asked himself, "Why did this happen?
Why me?" But today Dr. Evans realizes that God had other plans
for him. He has been blessed and doors have been opened for him
which otherwise would never have been opened. He is thankful for
each day and for the second chance he has been given. Through God,
he attempts to show others there is hope in faith.
Since then he has accomplished many athletic
goals and had many career achievements. In 1993, Dr. Evans was named
"Swimmer of the Year at the 32nd National Wheelchair Championships
in Barcelona, Spain. He was a member of the 1992 United States Disabled
Swim Team for the Paralympic Games in Barcelona
Spain and became the first black American to swim on a World Championship
Team in 1994 on the island of Malta. He was a member of two US International
Teams in 1995. Presently, he holds three swimming world records
and a paralympic record, as well as 15 American records.
On October 1, 1996, he was appointed by Governor
Mike Huckabee as the Director of Disability Determination for the
Social Security Administration for the State of Arkansas. He is
currently serving as the Deputy Director of the same agency. He
also once served as the Interim Director for the Capital Zoning
Commission with State Building Services, a position that placed
him on the Governor's Cabinet. Dr. Evans
has also served as a member of the Strategic Planning Board of Pulaski
Technical College, he was a member of the City of Little Rock Workforce
Investment Board, worked on the Olmstead Steering Committee and
as a member of the City of Little Rock Workforce Investment Board
Youth Council. He is also a council member for the Arkansas Injury
Prevention Coalition under the Arkansas Department of Health. Dr.
Evans holds the distinction of having helped Congress pass The Brady
Bill, named after former White House Press Secretary, Jim Brady,
as well as the passage of the 1990 Americans with Disability Act.
He also serves in other capacities and has held many other offices
over the past two decades. These distinctions, both past and present,
• Ambassador of Goodwill for the State of Arkansas
• Advisory Council for Education of Children with Disabilities
• Board of Directors of the Central Arkansas Chapter of
the American Red Cross Association
• Former Chairman of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission
and Arkansas Early Childhood Commission
• Co-chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
• Former Secretary of the Arkansas Literary Board
• First African-American to be elected to the Jonesboro
City Council, serving six terms
• Vice-Mayor of the City of Jonesboro, December 1984-1996
Dr. Evans has
been recognized by former President Bill Clinton, the United States
Congress, former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, the Arkansas
House of Representatives and numerous other organizations for his
many achievements as a Community Leader and a world champion swimmer.
He has been featured on all the
major television networks, in numerous publications and radio talk
shows. Dr Evans awards and recognitions also include:
• The social security Administration DisabilityLeadership
• The National Easter Seal Society's, Johanna Cooke Plaut
Community Leadership Award
• Who's Who Among African-Americans, 1995-1999
• United States Wheelchair Association Swimmer of the Year,
Dr. Evans volunteers his time to hospitals,
rehabilitation centers, the Spinal Cord Commission, Easter Seals,
the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, as well as city and county
schools. Through his tireless efforts he has made many great contributions
to the state and the nation. It is Dr. Evans hope that he can continue
these efforts and consequently provide motivation to others to overcome
the challenges in their lives.