By: Jake Bolen and Jordan Emery
As members of Youth in Government we idolize the leadership roles that delegate our administration. Today, we interviewed T’phani Perley-Schiele to learn more about what inspired her to strive for the position that she currently holds. In the previous year’s, 2017-2018, YIG election, T’phani ran with Daniel Sun as a pair for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, helping her land her in their current position for this year’s 2018 mock legislative trials.
We began by asking the Governor Lieutenant to state why she ran for her title. T’phani shared that “Gateway [her current school] was kind of new to the program, but every year that we came back, we had a bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger delegation and so eventually, we became the biggest delegation.” She stated that it was “kind of weird, to me, because nobody had ever ran for office out of all of ours except for the year prior.” We learned that the past nominee was unable to achieve status of Governor. However, T’phani continued by saying, “Hey, I’ll run too!” We were informed that she decided to run with Sun because of their, “mutual friends” and was later nominated as Governor and Governor Lt.
This was later followed by questioning who her most influential current and historic political leaders are. T’phani dove into the historic sense of political influence and stated that the most influential political figure in her life was Martin Luther King Jr. She decided to stick on the, “activist side,” and stated that, “he was a man of the people and a man of change”. She said, “I try to be that person where I’m more in with my people, talking to the people, trying to be of the people, to understand what changes I need to make and to find out where they stand as opposed to where I stand.” She believes, “Viewpoints are different all over.” She also wanted to express that she believes in change and in fact loves it.
Finally, we questioned her on whether or not her political idols had any influence on what position she decided to run for in Youth in Government. She acknowledged the fact that her idols did not necessarily impact her decisions to run, but believed that they played a crucial role in her life. Additionally, T’phani stated, “My greatest influence was just being in the program”.
We were gifted the opportunity to look into the mind of this young leader and gain insight about her political life. Famous political advisors and internal motivation shaped the person she is today to hopefully be mirrored in her future, as she continues to influence others in the same manner. She is as excited as most of us are for this year’s Mock Legislative Trials and is anxious to see where our contributions can make a difference on a potentially global level.