Amy McEvoy – 20 Under 40

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Community Volunteer
Education: SMU

Amy McEvoy dived into fundraising and nonprofit work shortly after graduating from SMU by joining the interior architectural design firm Wilson Associates and Trisha Wilson’s nonprofit, the Wilson Foundation. 

“Trisha taught me so much at a young age – her ‘can do’ spirit was infectious,” McEvoy said. “She challenged me to push the envelope every day in securing press for the awe-inspiring international hotel projects the firm was completing.”

The Wilson Foundation helped those in need locally and had several initiatives for funding in rural and impoverished parts of South Africa, McEvoy said.

“Our work there was extremely critical, and being able to travel there with her and see it first hand was life-changing,” McEvoy said. “I wasn’t prepared for the poverty I encountered.”

The foundation got an infectious disease specialist from UT Southwestern Medical Center to provide in-country education, treatment options, and medication supplies.

“Something really clicked for me, bolstering an initiative that changed the quality of life for thousands of people.”

“We were making a difference one child/one mother at a time halting the transmission of (HIV). This truly started my personal journey to do more and give back.”

Giving back is also something instilled in her by her family.

“My parents were the first people to expose me to the value of hard work and giving back to something bigger than yourself,” she said.

McEvoy’s father led an orthopedic surgical mission initiative in the Dominican Republic after an earthquake struck Haiti in 2010 and took a team to Hispaniola to perform adult reconstructive surgery. He also put together a coalition to build and equip a new prosthetic lab, hire a certified prosthetist, and provide prosthetic limbs and braces for children and adults missing extremities.

McEvoy assisted his efforts with media content, fundraising, and grant applications. 

“Something really clicked for me, bolstering an initiative that changed the quality of life for thousands of people,” McEvoy said. 

She also supports local organizations, including Community Partners of Dallas and Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer. 

Most recently, McEvoy rallied her block in University Park to donate perishables and gift cards for Childcare Group of Dallas’s Friendsgiving in November 2020.

Biggest business/career success in the past 12 months:

My biggest success as a mother was to live through the pandemic this past year and meet the challenges of virtual learning. It has tested us as parents and challenged our children as well. Nourish your children, listen to their needs, and find the right way to help them. They all have unique learning styles and different needs. It has been comforting to know that we are all facing these challenges, and we are all in this together. 

What would you tell an 18-year-old you?

I would tell an 18-year-old me to use available learning resources to become more self-aware and avoid being the person who doesn’t know what they don’t know. I would say to seek out people outside of your circle to get a different perspective in viewing life’s challenges.     Embracing leadership opportunities that will help you understand your weaknesses at a younger age will give you a greater perspective and insight. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you define your character and find your voice.  Learn from your mistakes. Always be hopeful and look forward to the future ahead. The world is at your fingertips.

If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?

I would give my neighbor the book, In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney.  This is a very inspirational book about more than 100 influential women who are artists & entrepreneurs.  This book takes you on a discovery of exactly how these women found happiness and success in their lives.

Fun fact that someone wouldn’t know about you:

I love musical theater. I was ‘Gypsy,’ the Acid Queen, in my high school production in St. Louis of the rock opera, The Who’s Tommy. Now that was fun!


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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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