Evans wrapping up Linden stay

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

While many college students are on vacation to various places, Blake Evans, a junior at Auburn, has been doing his part to make Linden a better place to live.

As an intern in Auburn University’s Living Democracy program, Evans has spent the past 10 weeks in Linden working on a promotional DVD for the city and a photographic youth advisory project.

A native of Deatsville, Evans knew a little bit about life in a small town, but he did not realize how much it actually takes to make a city of Linden’s size function.

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“There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that I never thought about,” Evans said. “It was really neat to sit and see all the things that go on in a city for it to work.”

Evans said that apart from living in the small apartment above the fire station, his transition to Linden was not difficult.

During his time in Linden, Evans has worked side by side with Mayor Mitzi Gates and the city council to write the script for and schedule the filming of the promotional DVD that will be used to help bring new businesses into the city.

“It has been neat to see how willing the leaders of Linden have been to help me in order to help make Linden a better place to live.”

Evans said that the best part of the program so far has been seeing everything that he has been doing come together.

“There has been so much hard work and thought put into this project from so many different people,” Evans said, “and it is really great to see it all coming together and being successful.”

The filming for the DVD was done last week, and Evans expects that after all of the loose ends are tied up and the production company finishes the editing, the DVD will be finished in late August.

The other part of Evans’ work in Linden deals with a youth advisory project. In this project, there are eight local students participating. Their objective was to take two pictures: one depicting why life in Linden is good, and another showing what could make it even better.

Evans’ time in Linden has taught him a lot about small town administration and what it takes to keep everything running smoothly in the community,

“It has been an invaluable experience,” he said. “The more time that passes, the more I realize how valuable it has really been. I plan to get my Master’s degree in public administration, and this has pretty much been an introduction to that.”

Linden is holding a celebration of Evans’ work on Thursday, July 19 at 6 p.m. in the Linden Elementary School auditorium.

During the ceremony, the work of the young students who participated in the youth advisors project will be on display, and a first, second and third place winner will be announced.

Also being discussed at the event will be the promotional DVD for Linden that Evans has been working to complete in his 10-week stay in the city.