Born in Riverside and raised throughout the Inland Empire, Director Philips attended John W. North High School and Riverside City College in Riverside. In 1990, she enlisted in the United States Army and completed basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort McClellan in Alabama later that year in September. Upon graduation, she was assigned to a military police company in the United States Army's Muenster Kaserne in Germany from 1990 to 1991. Upon return to California, she was assigned to the United States Army hospital at the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin from 1991 to 1994. In 1994, she left the Army to raise her then-growing family.
Director Philips is a mother to four sons and one daughter. In 2001, her family moved to Oak Grove, Oregon. In 2005, she became involved with Clackamas County Children's Commission Head Start. As a member of the Clackamas County Children's Commission Head Start Policy Council, she represented the interests of other parents whose children also attended the same center as her daughter. From 2005-2006, she served as a State Representative to the Oregon Head Start Association. She served as the Chairperson of the Policy Council 2008-2009. She served on the Clackamas County Children's Head Start Board of Directors from 2005 to 2010.
In the 2010 midterms, Director Philips made a bid for the office of Oregon State Representative for House District 40. District 40 includes the Portland suburbs of Clackamas, Gladstone, and Oak Grove. Her opponent was the Speaker of the House. Although the election did not go in her favor, she found it an enjoyable learning experience.
In 2011, Director Philips made the decision to return to her roots in Southern California. While én route, she was involved in an accident that resulted in significant injury. The injury required her to take some down time while she healed. During this time of rejuvenation, she became involved with the Baldy Mesa Community Center. She helped to set up food and clothing drives which helped struggling members of the community. It was also during this time that she familiarized herself with the wonderful communities of Phelan and Piñon Hills. In 2015, she purchased her first home in Phelan and she feels blessed to be a member of this amazing community.