“Everyone, regardless of their zip code, deserves to thrive.”
Josette Hutton Evans is founder and CEO of Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company, an award-winning nonprofit focused on education equity in areas of literacy, STEM, career readiness, and child well-being across eight counties in Greater Atlanta.
“I believe everyone has a basic human right to become their best selves through the catalyst of education. It is my vision through Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company that we dismantle barriers to that right, in as many innovative and publicly accessible ways as possible,” says Evans.
Although she primarily grew up in upstate New York, Evans was born in Macon and spent summers in the Georgia heat. She is calm, clear, and concise in her manner of speaking — you can tell she’s informed in her work and seeks to share that gospel with other open-hearted people who want to see positive change.
Thanks to her mother, who “would purposely take [her] places away from where we lived or were staying,” Evans was able to gain perspective that some people never get the chance to. It’s this perspective that tints everything she does with Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company
Headquartered in Henry County, the nonprofit is making serious headway in providing access to educational opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Their current project is the Mobile Classroom Initiative, for which they are converting a 2017 Ford e450 Shuttle Bus to provide residents with a “safe, interactive, and technology-rich learning environment” as the first of two phases.
Evans and her team didn’t want to create something that theywanted for the community; they wanted to create something the community wanted for themselves. To achieve this, they hosted a five-county roadshow and surveyed nearly 1,500 residents to board the shuttle and share their own visions.
“Thanks to their voices, our mobile academic classroom has been designed with their feedback in mind while utilizing evidence-based best practices to create a state-of-the-art classroom with comfortable flex-space seating, a variety of educational resources, including sensory, ADA-wheel chair accommodating, and hearing impaired-focused equipment,” explains Evans.
The second phase of the Mobile Classroom Initiative includes a Community Learning Lab and Mobile Library on Wheels, both of which will be housed inside of a custom-made trailer that will accompany the shuttle.
Evans details this expansion, “Our goal through this phase is to provide access to books in public spaces where libraries and bookstores are limited or nonexistent, while utilizing a lot of the best practices we’ve garnered over the years with our PopUp Mobile Library Book Giveaways we routinely provide in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta.”
According the United Way’s 2023 Child Well-Being Outlook: Insights for Impact Report, each of the 13 counties that make up Greater Atlanta saw a decrease in 3rd grade reading proficiency from 2019 to 2022, and 11 of the 13 saw a decrease in 8th grade math proficiency in the same time frame. Research shows that 3rd grade reading proficiency and 8th grade math proficiency are reliable indicators of future success in academics. Programs like Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company are working to shape a more positive narrative.
As far as Evan’s vision for the future of her community, it’s one of hope: “I envision a community where kids are safe, healthy, and given the opportunity to discover what makes them passionate about living. I envision the future where the adults surrounding each child have the tools, resources, confidence, and competence to pour into that passion and help it grow.”