Vershaun Evans


Vershaun EvansOn Her Way Upward

Vershaun “Shawnni” Evans cannot wait to be a social worker.

“I feel like I’m on fire right now,” says the 34-year-old single mother of two. “I want to just jump right in, keep going, and get my Master’s.”

Coming straight out of high school, “I wasn’t really prepared,” she admits. Ten years passed, with Shawnni working full time as a civil servant while raising daughters Ta’Leeyah, 15, and Ta’Jah, 12.

When Shawnni returned to SMC in 2018, she hit the ground running.

Now in her first year at Cal State LA —with a Sociology major and Psychology minor —she is back today to collect her Associate degree in Arts and Humanities. She completed her studies for the Associate Degree for Transfer in 2022.

Shawnni benefitted from having close family role models in her cousin Robert Adams, former SMC vice president for student affairs, and her aunt Phyllis Hall, a longtime faculty member at Long Beach City College. Still, Shawni believes her success hinged on SMC support groups like Black Collegians, EOPS, CalWORKs, the RISING Program, and even the Center for Students with Disabilities (DSPS), which furnished her with note-takers after a workplace injury left her hand temporarily in a cast.

Currently a senior clerk typist with Los Angeles County’s purchasing department, Shawnni is excited about transferring into social services or mental health once she gets her Bachelor’s degree.

“That’s the beauty of it,” she says. “My career is all set. I have lots of mobility within the County.”