Jordan and Natalie Sacket-Evans, ’16

Jordan Evans ’16 and Natalie Sacket-Evans, ’16

By Caitlin Hofen
Natalie Sacket-Evans, ’16, digs her shovel into the earth and makes a hole big enough for a tree. Demonstrating the process for her volunteers, Natalie covers the roots of the tree that will benefit generations of Oklahoma City residents.   
Across town, Jordan Evans, ’16, meets with local advocates to discuss a long-range vision for safer and more convenient bicycling and walking infrastructure in central Oklahoma.
Together, these young Northwestern alums use their passions for community and service to make a lasting impact on the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.  
Before Jordan and Natalie started working in Oklahoma City, the couple met in 2013 on the Alva campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
“We were fortunate to be pretty involved on campus,” Jordan said. “We were each able to become involved in a number of diverse activities and organizations, allowing us to expand our skill sets and leadership traits.”
After graduating from Northwestern in May 2016, the couple married and started careers as young professionals in the nonprofit business sector around Oklahoma City. Natalie began a role with a statewide nonprofit doing project management, and Jordan served with the State Regents for Higher Education in the College Assistance Program.
“I knew I wanted to work in the nonprofit setting in some capacity, but I wasn’t sure which field of nonprofit,” Natalie said. “I stumbled upon Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, which is a state-wide environmental nonprofit. I worked with many local municipalities and volunteer organizations across Oklahoma. I developed a passion for the power of local communities to come together and make positive change.”
In December 2018, the couple graduated with Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. Jordan focused on public and nonprofit management, while Natalie found her calling in urban government and local sustainability. She soon began working for the City of Edmond to focus on local initiatives and municipal government.
The call for hands-on work led Natalie back to the nonprofit sector, where she became the program and marketing director for OKC Beautiful, an environmental beautification and education nonprofit serving the Oklahoma City area.
“We work closely at the local level with the City of Oklahoma City to create a more sustainable community,” Natalie said. “We teach environmental stewardship to the general public and try to create a better quality of life through public projects.”
In 2019, Jordan started working for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG), a voluntary, non-partisan association of local governments that includes 37 cities and covers four counties.
“In my role as a transportation planner, I primarily look at bike and pedestrian issues,” Jordan said. “I try to make it easier for people to walk and bike safely in the Oklahoma City region.
“When I was going through my MPA, my goal was to still work for the state government like I did for the Regents. However, I felt ACOG was a good mix of the local issues I enjoyed learning about, while still working with a larger group of people and having a broader reach.” 
During their time at Northwestern, Natalie and Jordan were English and history majors, respectively. They believe the concepts they learned during their undergrad years gave them a firm foundation for their work in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Jordan applies the fundamentals of history to his position as a transportation planner.
“History is looking back and, as a planner, I’m looking forward,” Jordan said. “While they may be opposites, many of the same principles apply. I use research, writing and analyzing the process to get the end result. By looking at past experiences, I can plan more critically for better outcomes.”
Natalie utilizes the technical experience she gained at Northwestern. 
“I use the communication skills I learned through my undergraduate experience on a daily basis for my job,” Natalie said. “I apply the writing and research skills to policy development, grant writing, content creation and more. I believe it was the community and campus involvement that made me look at a more nontraditional career path in nonprofit leadership and community development.
“Being so involved on campus and doing things like enacting policies with the Student Government Association and planning events for students really motivated us to continue that involvement after we graduated,” Jordan said.” The time we spent at Northwestern helped us find where our passions lie and steered us toward our respective career paths.”
“My favorite part of my job is getting to work with the community. One of the programs we do is called Bike Month where we promote biking for transportation through the month of May. Our events get people out into the community, riding their bikes and meeting their neighbors.”
“OKC Beautiful engages over 5,000 volunteers every year,” Natalie said. “I meet a lot of people and community organizations. It’s empowering to spend time with people who show up because they care about their city and community. The ability to meet other people who have a passion for the environment and Oklahoma City is encouraging. It makes me hopeful for our city and our state.
“Coming from a farming community, it’s so clear to me now that through human behavior we can help foster a beautiful environment. I grew up always being in nature, so having clarity of purpose in fostering and educating others about the environment and our impact is so empowering.”
Jordan and Natalie serve on numerous boards and volunteer with a variety of organizations to make an impact in their community. They are active in planning community events and programming to bring people together for a better Oklahoma City.
In their free time, they explore a variety of community activities. Jordan completed his first Ironman triathlon in May 2021 and is a current member of the Leadership Oklahoma City LOYAL Class XVII. Natalie painted her first two public murals this year at the Sunny Dayz Mural Festival and the State Fair Mural contest and she donates several paintings to nonprofits fundraising events.
Oklahoma City’s unlimited potential is cultivated by the endeavors of people like the Evans, who foster positive changes. With a firm foundation and a drive to enrich their community, Jordan and Natalie make Oklahoma City a better place, one project at a time.


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