Our Alumni Spotlight for the month of December shines on Ms. Tylar Phillips. Ms. Phillips is a native of Marshall, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Wiley College in 2019.
Tylar currently resides in Denton, Texas where she attends the University of North Texas. She will complete her Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Local Government Administration in August 2021. Tylar is employed full-time with the Denton County Election Services as an absentee ballot clerk. She also works part time as an intern for Impact Strategies Political Advocacy Firm under the supervision of Principal and CEO Angela Rye, Esq.
While at Wiley College, Tylar was active in many extracurricular service organizations and held several officer positions including: Vice President of the #6887 Chapter of the NAACP, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Phi Chapter, Sophomore Class Vice President, Executive Secretary for the Student Government Association. She also served as a charter member of the Wiley College Rotary Club, Pre-Alumni Council member, Debate & Forensics Team member, and held the title of Miss National UNCF 2018-2019.
Ms. Phillips’ fondest memories of Wiley College were her fundraising events for UNCF. She hosted several car washes; sold plate lunches, bracelets, snacks and toiletries. She enjoyed writing solicitation letters to businesses and organizations and speaking to large crowds about the importance of the UNCF. In addition to fundraising, Tylar founded Ethel’s Closet, a free business attire clothes closet and the precursor to the College’s career closet.
When asked why she felt it important to give back to Wiley College, Tylar shared that “Attending college is about building, transforming, strengthening, molding and sending multidimensional leaders with impeccable character into a competitive job market and/or academic arena. Wiley taught me to be proud of my heritage as a rural, southern black woman.” Ms. Phillips stated that she enjoys advocating for something bigger than herself; primarily, student scholarship and although, she was on full scholarship, she did not receive a UNCF scholarship. Tylar recalls that as Miss National UNCF, she was frequently invited to speak at special events and met numerous notable persons from across the country. She knew then that supporting scholarship was one way to allow others to attend college without amassing crippling debt. Ms. Phillips went on to say “I enjoyed serving my black and brown brothers and sisters from low income communities who have always been capable of success, but have not always had the support and/or adequate resources that are needed.
Tylar concluded by saying that Wiley prepared her for her next steps and phases in life. While at Wiley, she built character, charisma, leadership, discipline and community. Tylar saw value in attending an HBCU, specifically Wiley and said, “I learned to listen, feel and advocate at Wiley. I found Christ and gained lifelong friends. I learned how to dance and pray. I learned to value myself and my hair.”