Evelyn Canavan, Legal and Protective Services, Easton, Class of 2021

Evelyn Canavan is an exceptional Southeastern senior who consistently excelled in her studies and in her Legal and Protective Services vocational program.

During her time at Southeastern, Evelyn participated in the American Sign Language Club and Student Council as well as Regional and State Student Council. Additionally, she is part of COVID-19 research groups, environmental concern groups, and racial and disability equity groups outside of school. As a member of the State Student Council Executive Board, Evelyn works directly with the Board of Education. She recalls going to the executive building, which houses the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, and working with both the Board of Education and representatives from the state LGBTQ and Gay-Straight Alliance. She enjoyed her work and remained committed to the State Student Council, even as COVID-19 hit. One great achievement she recalls from her time at the Council was being able to change the health curriculum to focus more on educating students about their lives and how to make better decisions. When she is not busy participating in clubs, activities, or various councils, she also has a job at Starbucks, which in her words is, “an interesting experience in and of itself.”

After completing the Southeastern freshman Exposure and Exploratory program, Evelyn was interested in exploring two vocational programs in more depth: Natural and Life Sciences, and Legal and Protective Services. She liked both programs because they provided an opportunity to help people, which was what she knew she wanted to do. Ultimately, she chose Legal and Protective Services, because she knew it would provide her with ample opportunities to learn valuable information. Evelyn explained that Legal and Protective Services provided a great opportunity for her to explore the laws and rights of ordinary citizens.

Evelyn also gained many more opportunities from her vocational program. Legal and Protective Services enabled her to be a more informed citizen, and she also gained social skills from it. For example, video conferences with lawyers and judges enabled Evelyn to see members of law enforcement as actual people, and to understand the justice system from the inside. The vocational program also allowed her to fine-tune her own career choices. She explained that she is a completely different person than what she thought she would be, and she is thankful and glad for having had that opportunity. She also recalls taking a field trip to a prison, where she heard inmates speak about their experience, how they ended up there, and how it has changed them.

One major vocational assignment that Evelyn was proud of was her Senior Project on Affordable Ways to Protect Your Own Devices. She used the knowledge and expertise she gained through Legal and Protective Services’ Cybersecurity class to demonstrate to others how to properly, safely, and economically keep their devices and accounts safe, and feels a sense of accomplishment that she educated her fellow classmates on this important topic. In addition, she was proud of case studies and projects she completed on OJ Simpson and Aaron Hernandez.

After graduating from Southeastern, Evelyn is headed to Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, where she will be in the first class of the Nursing program. After a rigorous admissions process, with several difficult essays and interviews, she was one of thirty-six students that were accepted into the program. She is excited that she will start the program in the fall. After University, Evelyn hopes to do either MedFlight or Emergency Room nursing, pursuing the fast-paced settings that allow her to assist others in need.

When asked what advice she would give to her freshman self, she stated that she would tell her freshman self to cherish her time more. In her words, “Four years seems like a lot when you’re in that time period, because it’s day by day, but in the grand scheme of things, if you live a long, healthy life, it’s such a small period of time that you should cherish the time you have.” She would also tell her freshman self to ask for help when in need. During her freshman year, she refused to ask for help, and feels that, in retrospect, she should have reached out to a couple more of the resources she had. Third, she stated she would tell her freshman self to do a few more things that she was intimidated by, such as joining a new club or being in an event. Lastly, she stated that she would tell her freshman self to speak out about things she sees. She offers this advice to everyone: “Use your resources, your guidance counselors…if you see something that’s going on it’s really important to just improve the school for yourself or anybody else who’s just coming in.”

The Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District consists of a four-year public high school and a post-secondary technical institute. The high school offers 20 career majors to students from Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton and West Bridgewater.

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Written by André Arzeno, Legal & Protective Services, Brockton