EVA project brings students, BHS Youth Board together

Pickens Middle School attendees, PMS advisors, and Behavioral Health Services’ Youth Board are pictured with the Rev. Erik Grayson, who spoke at the recent EVA program.

By Savannah Perry

Special to the Courier

PICKENS — The EVA project is an effort to spread awareness of the daily pressures students must face and how to cope with such adversity in a positive way. It is named after a dear friend to the Pickens County Behavioral Health Services, Mrs. Eva Haynie.

Haynie has dedicated her life as a public servant and was an active advocate for the youth board in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse.

The EVA project is a weekend-long retreat that is held at the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, N.C. It involves high schoolers who are in the Pickens County Youth Board, middle schoolers from Pickens County schools along with their administrators, and prevention staff from BHS.

Recently the EVA project was held again, and the entire Youth Board was moved in so many different ways.

The group came together with a passion to inspire and teach all who attended the weekend, along with creative ways to show younger students how to spread awareness back to their own middle schools.

11-30 Page 7A.inddThe adventure-filled weekend included many fun activities, such as rock wall climbing, skits about drug and alcohol abuse and a candlelight vigil, and was capped off with special guest speaker the Rev. Erik Grayson, Eva Haynie´s son.

This year’s slogan for the retreat was, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito,” African Proverb.

At a time where the world is so divided, the group is choosing to Elevate their Voices to Action and be heard. If the group can continue to impact others by promoting awareness then no effort is ever too small. The youth board is proud to serve through leadership and honored to be a part of this legacy.

The Rev. Erik Grayson is pictured with Behavioral Health Services director of prevention services Cathy Breazeale.