A recent Penn grad is striving to pay it forward as he aims to empower young, black men one page at a time.
2011 Wharton graduate Malcolm Evans recently reached his Kickstarter goal of $6,000 to publish his book “Brother’s Keeper: Lessons Learned in Gaining Access” — a book that offers personal insights to help young black men succeed.
According to Evans, “the context and experiences in the book are from the vantage point of a black male.” Alt hough there is no type of male that is specifically targeted, the core audience is around the ages of 14-25. The book also aims to target black males and “anyone who has an investment in that individual and wants to see him improve,” he said.
Evans stressed that the book is not a how-to approach, but rather it offers “basic principles, philosophies and insights that are malleable and apply to varying situations,” he said.
He has received overwhelming support on his Kickstarter page, where he has well exceeded his initial goal. His stretch goals for the book will allow him to donate copies of the book to libraries and schools and eventually create an interactive online site with access to all the resources referenced in the book.
The Kickstarter campaign is set to end on August 11. “It’s surprising how much confidence people have shown in me and my ability to write this book,” Evans said.
Evans believes that the number one thing black students on campus can do to help each other succeed is to remain approachable and transparent. “If we create this cycle of giving back, that’s what starts it,” he said. “In a place like Penn where everyone is super ambitious and busy, it can be tough but it was something that I felt was so important and helpful.”
While at Penn, Evans served as the president of the Penn chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was heavily involved on campus. He expressed his fears about coming from a small private high school and worried about “getting swept up in the tide of Ivy League academics.” The mentors he found through the Black Wharton Undergraduate Association “invested in me to the point that I was able to land internships and develop relationships with recruiters,” Evans said.
He has completed a virtual app and is currently assembling a Board of Advisors who will provide him feedback as the project develops. Along with his startup, Evans is currently running a private tutoring business where he helps kids prepare for the SATs, college applications and general coursework study. “The single underlying thread is that I’m really passionate about helping people obtain their goals,” he said.
Evans cited part of President Obama’s commencement address at the historically black, all-male school Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia as a cornerstone of his philosophy for this initiative. “Not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely...” President Obama said in the speech. “It’s just that in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world ... nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned.”
So Evans aims to level the playing field for young, black men like himself.
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