CLINTON, Ill., (WCIA) — Candyce Evans is one of the only girls in her shop class, and breaking barriers for others.
She’s got grit running through her veins and grease under her nails. Evans is fueling her passion and living the life she’s always imagined. She grew up drag racing with her grandpa.
“I’ve loved being around cars, working, helping out. Even if it was just holding the flashlight,” she described.
So, it only made sense to join the shop classes at Clinton High School.
Over her four years, she’s learned to handle adversity while working on cars. She’s also learned to stay true to herself while breaking barriers for girls in the field.
“It’s kinda awkward sometimes being the only girl in the classroom, or in general in a lot of my classes,” Evans said.
She said the first few years were hard and she wasn’t instantly connecting with her peers. That changed.
“I’m glad that as an older girl now, I can be a role model for younger girls that are taking shop classes,” Evans said. “They can do things the right way and you don’t have to cut corners or misbehave.”
Now, she said there are a few more girls in her trades classes and she’s meeting more in the industry too.
“At my boot camp, there was actually one other girl with me and we became really close instantly. It was nice to have another girl in the room,” Evans said.
She spent a few weeks in Decatur at the Local IBEW 146 and accepted an apprenticeship there.
“Part of what got me interested in going into the IBEW is race cars because a lot of the race car drivers I know are other IBEW members,” Evans explained.
She only plans to pave more paths for girls in the future.
“If you really want to do something and you’re really passionate about it, just keep pushing for it and keep trying to be that person that’s doing the right thing,” she said.
Her next steps include working for Bodine Electric where she’ll be an electrician. She said she’s excited to keep challenging herself, use math every day and meet more people like her in the industry.