Phil Evans doesn’t refer to himself as a runner, but he’s recently committed himself to run the Marathon Des Sables (MdS) this April—a 156 mile, six-day ultramarathon that spans the Sahara desert. So, it’s safe to say that he’s actually a running champion. And this coming April, Phil has chosen to run for Pencils of Promise, and for quality education.
Phil is currently based in Perth, Australia working for an organization called Everyday Leader. Everyday Leader is focused on offering Social Emotional Learning programs (a practice PoP uses frequently to engage students) to all high school students in a unique and engaging environment. They work primarily in lower socio-economic areas, covering topics such as mindfulness, positive psychology, character strengths and emotional regulation. Phil has made it his personal mission to inspire the next generation to be fully happy, and to challenge their endless potential.
Rewind to Phil’s first introduction to PoP. When he was working in a school, he played PoP’s mission video as a point of reflection for the students to recognize kids across the world who have not been afforded the same opportunities that they have. The class was most definitely inspired, but the message truly stuck with Phil.
After going through a rough patch in his life, during which he constantly questioned his own value and confidence, Phil decided to use this period to learn from some of the biggest challenges. He ultimately wanted to come out stronger on the other side, to learn from his previous roles and create a safe space for a new generation and community to learn.
So why the Marathon des Sables? Why a 250km run through the Sahara desert? Why run, essentially, a marathon a day for six days straight leaving yourself prone to heat illness, blistering and everything else? Why run a race that requires you to carry a sleeping bag, roll mat, food for the week and compulsory snake bite anti-venom? Because Phil wants to push his limits. He wants to be challenged as he never had before.
Not only has training for this race made him realize inner strengths that he never knew he had, but Phil shared with us that his favorite part of campaigning, and training for the MdS, is how he is inspiring others to push their limits and to donate to this “amazing cause.”
Phil, thank you for being a part of the PoP Family. Thank you for making quality education your cause. And thank you for inspiring us to dream bigger. We are so excited to come on this journey with you!
Readers, stay tuned! Phil’s race takes place on April 6 of this year.
Our PoP family is always growing. We’d love for you to join us.