A n actor who made his name in a dark television series is focused on teaching people how to spread kindness and compassion when away from the set.
Evan George Vourazeris, a Katy native who has Down syndrome, portrays Tuck on the acclaimed Netflix series “Ozark.” He spoke to students Sept. 27 at Angleton Junior High School about bullying and how to treat others who might be different from ourselves.
Vourazeris wanted to create an open, honest dialogue with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, he said.
“There is a lot of discrimination,” he said. “There is a lot of people hating each other. People need some compassion toward other people.”
It is important for children still growing and developing mentally to realize people need to be kind no matter whom they meet, Vourazeris said.
“They need to show some kindness and inspiration to other people,” he said.
He understands people can feel like everything is hopeless and to give up, but he has taken his own hardships and tried to use them as inspiration, Vourazeris said.
“That is how I engage people,” he said. “As an actor, I fought to get on Ozark. I fought to audition. I am not perfect. I was born with a disability. I had a lot obstacles in my life.”
Trisha Terrell, the junior high’s interim principal, found Vourazeris’ visit to be perfect timing because October is National Bullying Prevention Month, she said.
Delma Garza, chief executive officer with the Brazoria County Counseling Center, arranged Vourazeris’ visit to the junior high because children and young teens need to know the truth about bullying and the damaging effects it can have, she said.
“It gave me great pleasure to be able to convey the message to students of Angleton Junior High to be kind to one another,” she said. “Unfortunately, the bullying situation in schools has grown to be a big problem.”
She hopes the students who listened to Vourazeris’ message were inspired to know people are all different and being kind to someone goes a long way, Garza said.
“It is unfortunately common for children and adolescents to be suffering from anxiety and depression,” she said. “Kids nowadays do not know how to communicate their feelings so they do not, and then it manifests into bigger issues.”
It is just a blessing to be able to use his notoriety to better people’s lives and spread positive messages, Vourazeris said.
“Hate can cause damage,” he said. “We got to pick up these people. People need to be cautious.”