Faces of the Mount
Name: Phylizia Carrillo
Majors: Political Science and Global Politics
Minors: Philosophy and Film, Media, and Social Justice
“I picked these majors because I didn’t see anyone else doing it. I thought, ‘If not me, then who else?’ I’m interested in politics, and hopefully, I’ll be able to run or lead with either policy or anything like that. I was trying to look for role models and didn’t see anyone, so I was just like, well I’ll do it. It’s pretty cool to lay your own path.
It’s very cliché, but just do it. Do it on your own terms and on your own time because a lot of people, especially women, get very focused on the obstacles ahead of them that they don’t even start.
Recently, I was in DC and across the White House there’s something called “The Anti-War Peace Vigil” and it’s the longest running peace protest in the U.S. This one guy who just sits there for 12-55 hour shifts says ‘hi’ to people and educates them.
I went up to him and he told me about his life. First glance, you might think he was homeless, but not at all. He’s toured 91 countries, speaks eight languages, and opened for Bob Marley three times. His dreads were on the floor–it was pretty awesome. Obviously, if you’re across the White House, you’ve seen shit.
Last November, someone jumped the White House and he saw it. He was like, ‘Should I say anything?’ He’s seen some wild shit and has done it since he was our age. He volunteers and organizes other volunteers to come through. Again, you would’ve never known: don’t judge anybody by the way they look.
Hopefully, by the time we are deep into our adulthood, we won’t have any of those benchmarks anymore where [people] are like ‘she’s the first woman, the first Latina, the first Asian American.’ Everyone’s just doing their best and being who they want to be. My advice is, don’t buy into the labels so much, just do the work.
I plan on getting my Ph.D., and then hopefully, run for office by the time I’m 30. But you never know, in 10 years the world is going to be crazy. I’m not gonna be the first ‘nobody,’ which is great.
Just talking to different people I think [is] where I got most of my education. It’s not really in the classroom, even though that is important, but education is asking people about their experiences, what they do. It doesn’t have to be related to your career, it could just be story-telling. Make every day a learning experience.”