Jae'Won Phillips: Campus Spotlight

 Clark Atlanta University is full of students who stand up and stand out. Jae’Won Phillips is definitely one of those students. He is a graduating senior at Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Psychology. HerCampus CAU caught up with Jae’Won to talk about college life and goals for the future.


HC: Tell me a little more about yourself?

Jae’Won​: I’m a twenty-one year old from New York here in Atlanta for college. Im the oldest of five kids. I have two little brothers and two little sisters. I’m a first generation college student in my family and really the first everything.

HC: What is your major and classification?

Jae’Won​: I’m a senior. My major is psychology with a concentration in industrial organization.

HC: What are your goals for the future?

Jae’Won​: More than anything, I want to change the world. But, after college I’m going to take a year off, just to work. Afterwards, I’m going to apply to all of the programs that I wanted to get into, but I missed the deadlines for. So, like, Columbia, UGA, Valdosta State.

HC: What made you choose CAU?

Jae’Won​: The Crime Mob “Rock Ya Hips” video and Stomp The Yard. Also, School Daze because that was one of the first movies I saw with college life. I came here with my best friend after high school, too.

HC: How has going to an HBCU changed you?

Jae’Won​: It changed me, but it didn’t. It kind of just gave me a different point of view. My grandparents grew up during the Civil Rights Era. Most of my family is from the South, too.It helped me a lot because I went to a prep school with a lot of white kids. Coming here just made me appreciate being Black more. You learn more about what you don’t get taught in your first twelve years of school.

HC: So, you’re a senior now and you’re just about done with college. What has been the most difficult part of college for you?

Jae’Won​: Freshman year was really difficult because that’s when you realize you’re away from everyone. You really don’t have money and you’re still trying to figure it out. I wanted to drop out freshman year but after that, it wasn’t really difficult for me.

HC: What does being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. mean to you?

Jae’Won​: You just have to stand for everything that they stand for. You have to be one before you actually are one. If you want to be an Alpha, you have to carry yourself like you already are an Alpha. Know yourself because it requires a lot of research. A lot of the men in my life  and a lot of my mentors happen to be Alphas, too.

HC: What other organizations are you a part of?

Jae’Won​: I’m one of the chartering members of Collegiate 100 at CAU. I’m a basketball coach and a mentor for young students who may be coming to CAU. I was on the Junior Class Council and I’m a member of Project House over at Morehouse College.

HC: Being involved comes with a platform. How are you using your many different platforms on campus to rewrite the narrative that is often attached to Black men?

Jae’Won​: You just have to step outside of the box and be yourself. Often times, people weren’t somebody before coming to college. So, when they get here they try to change who they are or be someone new. You have to let it be known that you can be about your classwork and still have fun.

HC: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Jae’Won​: I definitely see myself running my own company. I don’t know whether it’ll be my own psychology practice or even just doing some activism work within the community. Right now we need that the most. We don’t have a youth activist or someone who actually cares about the injustices in America. So, I see myself doing that and definitely giving back to CAU. There’s a lot that CAU has, but we just don’t know how to use those resources. A lot of the alumni don’t give back. So, I just want to help everyone around me and everyone who helped me.

Make sure to keep up with Jae'Won and his CAU experience on Instagram: @reallyjaewon. Thanks, Jae'Won for the CAU Spotlight. We love learning who's who on our campus!