Phillips was born in Portland, OR on August 22nd, 1990. His parents are Bill and Teresa Phillips. He has two younger brothers, Caleb and Titus Phillips. When he was two years old, his family uprooted and moved to Aberdeen, WA. He was placed into soccer, baseball, and basketball leagues as soon as he was able to walk. When he was old enough to decide for himself what sports he would play, he chose to run cross country and play basketball. With his free time, he enjoyed exploring the natural beauty of the surrounding area, including the beaches where he learned to surf. He graduated from J.M. Weatherwax High School in 2009.
The College Years
Grays Harbor College (2009-2011)
Phillips began his academic career at the local community college. It was here that he would begin to discover his interest in political science and economics. In 2011, he received his Associate of Arts (AA) from Grays Harbor College with a 4.0 GPA, earning him the honor of Top Scholar.
Gonzaga University (2011-2013)
After earning his AA from GHC, Phillips transferred to Gonzaga University (GU) in Spokane, WA. He majored in political science and minored in economics. His senior year, he served as co-president for the Pre-Law Society. He graduated in 2013 with his Bachelor of Arts in political science.
In his Cyber Politics course at GU, the class published a compilation of short essays, On the Cyber. The professor edited and compiled the works into a single volume and published it through Lulu.com, a publishing service for independent authors. The publishing of On the Cyber was a demonstration of the power that the internet has to enable individuals to produce their own content. Phillips' wrote his section of the book on the international hacker collective, known as Anonymous.
Phillips took graduation as an opportunity to fulfill his lifelong desire to travel to a different part of the world. To save money for his adventure, he took a job offer at the water department back in Aberdeen, as a temporary crew member on a city-wide water meter replacement project. The project ended after a little over a year, at which point he took the money he had saved and traveled for three months through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. He enjoyed experiencing the different cultures, trying to travel and eat like the locals. This made for quite the interesting trip. His favorite aspect of travelling was the diversity of the people he met, both locals and fellow travelers alike. Unfortunately, a language barrier limited his communication with the Spanish speaking crowd. He has made it a goal to travel back to South America when his Spanish improves.
Upon returning home, Phillips has began searching for a job where he can use the skills he gained in school and work on an issue that he is passionate about.
- Mountain Biking
- Biked the "Death Road" in Bolivia
After being educated on the ancient economic system of bartering by the tour guide at the ancient Incan site, known as Tambomachay, Phillips successfully engaged in the practice with a local Quechua man. The man possessed a piece of hand sewn tapestry and Phillips possessed a wrist watch the the Quechua man liked. After a few minutes of haggling, Phillips bartered the watch for the tapestry. It is his favorite souvenir from South America. It reminds him of all of the unique interactions and experiences that you have when you travel.