Benton native Trevor Villines grew up spending his after-school hours alongside his dad (former Saline County Tax Collector Chris Villines) at the county courthouse. As he got to know local officials, he saw firsthand the importance of county government.
During college at the University of Arkansas, Trevor returned to Benton for winter and summer breaks to work for the Saline County Clerk’s office. There, he expanded the office’s communication channels by implementing social media accounts. He also found opportunities to channel his passion for politics into campus involvement.
Trevor served as the director of external relations for the UA Associated Student Government and he led the Razorback Action Group’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic by creating a statewide substance abuse awareness week on 19 college campuses.
What organizations in Arkansas are you passionate about? Definitely all things substance abuse related. During college, I developed an interest in raising awareness about substance abuse and finding ways to help those with addiction. Throughout the various substance abuse awareness campaigns and projects, I met people from organizations all over Arkansas — the Arkansas drug director and his staff, the Arkansas attorney general and her staff, UA Little Rock MidSOUTH, the Wolfe Street Foundation, Natural State Recovery Centers and many more.
What advice do you have for young Arkansans wanting to get involved? Pay close attention to the organizations that have a table during freshman orientation. Stop by and visit with them. Learn what their volunteers are passionate about. If you find your passion matches theirs, get involved!
The one thing I wish people knew about activism and politics: It’s not as simple as it seems. It’s not black and white. It’s not Democrat vs. Republican.
Best political moment so far: Working for the Saline County Clerk’s office was without a doubt one of the best political moments I’ve ever had. Especially during election season.
What keeps me coming back to politics: If there’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do since I graduated high school, it’s to give back to my community and help out. Through all my years, the people in my community have blessed me beyond all measure. They’ve provided advice, college scholarships, event funding and all kinds of support. For me, running for office back home someday would allow me to return those favors that many bestowed on me.
★ TREVOR’S BALLOT
My political platform in three words: Service Above Self
Legislation you’re keeping an eye on: All things related to the opioid epidemic.
The coolest thing you did in student government: Put together a statewide substance abuse awareness campaign at 19 college campuses across Arkansas.
Advice for first-time voters: The best resource for Arkansas voters is VoterView.org — a website operated and maintained by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The website will actually have your ballot available online typically around a month before the election. This does NOT mean that you can vote online, but you can view your customized ballot with information on what district you live in.