From those who know Evan
“I got to know Evan when his family transferred to Dowling Catholic. Evan had an impactful freshman year at Dowling Catholic High School. He gained attention for the school immediately through his exploits in powerlifting, his participation in a newly-established Dowling strings performing group, and through freshman debate. Evan and his parents were a welcome addition to our Dowling family and I was saddened to see them leave Iowa. However, I know this inspirational young man will be breaking records and pushing the limits in everything he pursues in the future.”
Dr. Jerry Deegan, President, Dowling Catholic High School, Des Moines, Iowa
“Evan Pittman is one of the most well-rounded student-athletes I have encountered in over 30 years in education and competitive powerlifting. Academically focused, musically gifted, and extraordinarily talented on the athletic stage, Evan is a modern day renaissance man. Most important, however, is that Evan possesses unquestionable integrity and a positive approach to life!”
Dr. Spero Tshontikidis, President, R.A.W. United Powerlifting Federation, Director RAW Unity Meet, Melbourne, Florida
“Evan’s music and volunteerism intersect in a powerful way. He plays the violin for patients at senior care facilities and Veterans’ homes, for weekly church services, and for numerous military and veteran activities; in 2016, he also joined the national Musicians on Call program, performing for ailing children at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and he’s active in raising money for combat-wounded vets. Last year, he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his volunteerism in 2015.
This young man is an inspirational role model, with strength of character and a drive to excel in everything he does. As a former U.S. Naval Academy Commandant of Midshipmen, I have mentored and led some of the most competitive high school students in America, transforming them into young officers, and I can’t recall a single teenager who was more successful in so many areas than Evan.
John R. Allen, General, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Washington, DC
“I met Evan and his family when they moved to Phoenix after living in Washington, DC, Virginia, Florida and Iowa as a military family. I took Evan on as one of my divers with the YMCA and AAU team, and was impressed by his athleticism, his sportsmanship and his kindness.
Evan is certainly a high caliber athlete who would be successful in any sport he has chosen, and he has demonstrated that as a Junior Olympic champion, winning more than 40 gold medals in multiple sports in seven years of national competition; but what really differentiates Evan is his record of volunteerism and his efforts to serve others on so many levels. He is a community servant with a huge heart who uses every tool in his toolbox to help other people.
Evan Pittman represents the spirit of sportsmanship, citizenship and volunteerism more than any athlete I have ever coached. As I stated in a recent media interview, Evan is the most perfect combination of athlete, artist and academic that I have seen in 40 years of coaching, and I expect great things from him in the future.”
Barbara Nejman, 1976 USA Olympic Diving Team, AAU Arizona Diving Chairperson, Phoenix, Arizona
“Evan’s athletic achievements and sportsmanship are matched by his record of selfless service to the community. This young man has performed hundreds of volunteer hours since he was a youth in a variety of ways, and he has truly integrated volunteerism into his life’s activities in a very powerful way that touches others daily. In my 50 years of athletic competition, officiating and promoting meets, I’ve never met anyone quite like Evan Pittman. He epitomizes the phrase “Above and Beyond” when speaking of service and sportsmanship.”
Martin Drake, Chairman AAU Strength Sports | world champion & meet promoter, Las Vegas, Nevada
“While Evan’s volunteer musical performances reach thousands of people every year, he is also involved in numerous other volunteer and civic efforts. He personally raised $3500 for combat-wounded veterans through the “Lift for Heroes” weightlifting program he created, and he was a member of the 2016 Valley Youth Leadership class which donated $8,000 to Phoenix-area non-profits. He also volunteered more than 60 hours with an Arizona Senate political campaign last summer, and was our first delegate from our school to attend Arizona Boys State and first appointee to the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission. …I have no doubt he will continue to excel, and stand out as a leader and community servant among his peers.”
Jenny Treadway, Upper School Dean of Students and Director of International Programs, Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, Arizona
“It was clear to me from the beginning that Evan Pittman was driven by something different than other kids his age.
Evan’s level of focus and attention to detail is at an elite level. His work ethic and desire will not allow him to be anything less than extraordinary.”
Wesley Keith, Founder and President, 22nd Street Barbell Club, Des Moines, Iowa
“While his family lived in Norfolk, Virginia, Evan trained at our Taekwondo dojang from ages seven through ten in both traditional Taekwondo and as a member of our competition team. Once he moved away, he would travel in the summers and continue to train with our team as he prepared for the annual National Championships in Taekwondo. I am impressed, but not surprised by all of Evan’s multiple successes; he has always been a young man who is very focused and determined to achieve the high goals that he sets for himself. I have no doubt that Evan will continue to be enormously successful in everything he chooses, through his own diligence and personal will.”
Master Charles Park, Park’s Taekwondo Academy, Norfolk, Virginia
“I feel privileged to be Evan’s first diving coach. From the first practice, I saw in him tremendous potential and raw talent for the sport. Coupled with his solid foundation of strength and drive, I knew the sky would be the limit for him. Evan trains hard physically and mentally; I could see him analyzing and putting the pieces together in nearly every practice. It was wonderful to watch Evan learn and apply the detailed mechanics necessary to improve his diving, and I am excited to see his continued progression in the sport.”
Ryan Braun, Tampa Preparatory School Diving Coach, Tampa, Florida
I have come to know Evan and his family well over the years, and I truly appreciate a giving young man who does so much for others. The AAU has long been a training ground of America’s best collegiate, Olympic and professional athletes, but even among the great athletes of our time, Evan Pittman stands out as a rare world champion known more for his community endeavors than for his numerous records and titles.
Ms. Ivy Schuler, Amateur Athletic Union staff, Orlando, Florida
“The violin, by its nature, is a difficult instrument to master, and requires students to be very detailed and focused on performance. Evan is this kind of focused student; he leads by example in the classroom, is strong-willed and willing to work harder than anyone else. Just a handful of my students compete for All-State and Western Region Honors Orchestra, and of course, Evan was one of them, garnering a slot in the Honors orchestra despite having essentially no time to prepare as a new transfer student. He also auditioned and was selected for the Violin Master Class at the renowned Interlochen Violin Institute in Michigan, one of only 20 high school students chosen from among over 400 applicants. Evan expects more of himself than he does of others. Whether playing for 20,000 spectators at a professional baseball game, military retirees at a Tuskegee Airman event, a presidential campaign rally for 5000 people, or just a handful of seniors who appear catatonic until the music starts, Evan brings them joy.
…His strong morals and values serve him well, and he stands up for what he believes in, even when it is not popular…. Evan has many attributes that will make him extraordinarily successful in college and in life — kindness, strength of character, persistence and incredible talent.”
Maurine Fleming, Strings Teacher, Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, Arizona
“Congratulations on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community and our country.
…Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.
While government can open more opportunities for us to serve our communities, it is up to each of us to seize those opportunities. Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.”
President Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States