In memory of the late Evangeline T. Seay "Van," a devoted childhood educator who courageously battled brain cancer (Anaplastic Meningioma Grade III), her remarkable journey is recounted. A graduate of St. Paul's College, Van earned a B.S. in Biology in 1989 and later pursued a Master’s Degree in Education at Georgia State University. Her unwavering commitment extended beyond the classroom, as she founded the non-profit organization Sisters On Our Shoulders to mentor young girls.
Van's impactful career included roles as a teacher and Pre-K Coordinator in Decatur, GA, followed by a position as an Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention Specialist with the State Department of Education in Atlanta. Transitioning to North Carolina, she continued her passion by serving as a Service Coordinator and Educational Diagnostician with the Durham Children's Developmental Services Agency DHHS/DCFW. Her dual job titles reflected her dedication to the development of young children.
Remembered for her love for family, creativity in arts and crafts, and an optimistic view of life, Auntie Van was a leader and a finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Her impact reached far beyond her roles, as she touched the lives of many who are forever changed for the better.
Van's siblings Sterling Jr., Quentin, and Latoya Thompson express enormous gratitude for the scholarship that reflects their sister's passion for early childhood development. Her interaction and involvement with their family started at an early age where her commitment to excellence was displayed. She was persistent in planning and dedicated to giving her best. Sharing conversations with young people brightened her day, whether it was giving motivational guidance to her nephews Elijah and Isiah or assisting her niece Nyasia with a school project. Although Van's commitment to mentoring started with her parents Sterling Sr. and Judy Thompson, her love for caring and giving was highly appreciated and respected by all.
In the lives of Michelle, Paris, and Daryus, Auntie Van became a pillar of support after the loss of their older brother, Daquel. Van's creation of Sisters On Our Shoulders left a lasting impact, molding young girls into exceptional women. Paris fondly recalls Auntie Van's role as a life coach and the moral values instilled, now passed down to her own children.
Describing Auntie Van as a warrior, Tynece highlights her ability to smile through pain and uplift others. Recognized for her positivity and motivational talks, Auntie Van is dearly missed as a cherished friend, daughter, sister, cousin, and aunt.
Together, these heartfelt tributes capture the profound impact of Evangeline T. Seay "Van" on her family, students, and all whose lives she touched.
This fundraiser looks to give back to the community by supporting African
American women in their pursuit of a higher education, aiming to empower
and uplift them through scholarships, mentorship programs, and resources
that foster academic success and personal development.