Home » Phyllis Randall | The Greatness of Serving Others
The daughter of a veteran and the second born of six children, Phyllis Randall grew up instilled with the mentality that “service is not an option.” After moving from Denver, Colorado, to Loudoun County, Virginia, with her husband over 20 years ago, Phyllis immediately began giving back to her new community. She started volunteering at her sons’ schools, eventually becoming the chair of the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee. After seeing the need for a political system that’s more focused on education, Randall decided to take action. In late March of 2015 she became the nominee for the Democratic Party for the Office of Chair for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. A woman of strength, charm, and incredible drive, Randall is determined to use her leadership abilities to make Loudoun County, Virginia, a better place for all who reside there. With Election Day quickly approaching on November 3, 2015, she will continue to press forward, always remembering that giving back is the greatest gift.
Describe what you do for a living.
I’m a mental health therapist who works in a correctional facility. More specifically, I work with people with substance abuse issues.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
The most influential person in my life is absolutely my mother. She used to tell all six of us, “No matter what you want to be, be the best you can be at it.” So she really instilled in us a duty to serve and a duty to do our best.
Who is your role model and why?
My role model is my aunt June. She contested in the Miss Black America Contest in Denver and I remember going to see her compete when I was younger. She had a big afro and a ball gown. I just thought, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. My aunt June taught me so much about being a woman of strength and femininity and also a woman of color.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My grandfather used to say, “You can’t take it with you,” and “Leave it all on the field.” What that meant for him and what that taught me is that whatever you have, you literally can’t take it with you. Express love every day. Hug somebody every day. Give back every day. You leave it all here because once you’re gone, you’re gone.
What book has most influenced you?
That would be the bible. The bible for me is a guide on how you should love. It is a guide that says before you decide that you’re going to take a harsh look at somebody else, take a harsh look at yourself.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
The part that I would have done differently is that right out of college I probably would have tried to travel more. Once you have kids, you can’t do that. After my kids are out of college, I do plan on doing more traveling.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I love to go to the movies alone. It’s the one thing I don’t want anyone to do with me. I’m so busy, and I work in a correctional facility, and I’m into politics, so when I have down time I go to the theater, and I watch vapid, empty movies. I put away all logic and reason and have a good two hours to myself.
What is the biggest global challenge facing our world today?
The biggest challenge facing the world is the apathy of humanity. When we stop and look around and decide to care, we as a human race can change anything and can change it for the better.
If you weren’t in your current career, what would you be doing?
I think everything that I’ve done, including the mistakes I’ve made, made me who I am today. I’m very comfortable in my own skin and I wouldn’t change a whole lot about my life. I’m not rich and have never been a person of means, but I am a person of extraordinary blessings, and I like me.
What is your greatest accomplishment and why?
That’s easy: my kids. I have two sons, Ashon and Aaron. My boys are kind, funny, intelligent, and they are young men of faith. If I left the earth today, I would leave a legacy of those two boys.
Lauren Moss is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English. Her work has been published in Richmond Magazine and The Herald Progress, among others. She is a passionate young woman who hopes to inspire and impact the world around her through her writing. [email protected]