By Brea Mitchell, Staff Writer
Myra Hollis was a high school senior at Inglewood’s City Honors College Preparatory when she set the intention to, one day, create for others what she longed for in her own life and daily routines. She was seeking more options of academic organizations to be a part of. With her future in mind, and adulthood around the corner, Hollis yearned for a wider variety of communities that could guide and nurture her as she prepared to enter the next steps of life after high school.
While high-school-Myra looked for a community of guidance in her academic life, an impactful mentorship from a fellow teacher is what ended up being the guiding light that she needed.
“Miss Saba Araya, who is now the principal, was and still is, my number one cheerleader. She sat down with me countless times to be a mentor and big sister to me. I told myself my senior year that I would create a non-profit based on what she taught me– which is self-love and the ability to achieve my dreams, and to go as far as I can in my education.”
As a now-27-year-old, Hollis is providing extensive mentorship and community for young women in Inglewood through her thriving non-profit organization, FEM Scholar. The purpose of FEM Scholar is to uplift and provide tools for success to students who come from backgrounds where academic success is not as common or as prioritized. Hollis has vowed to make their future a priority, and to do everything possible to open doors for these women, which will lead them into a life of fulfillment and purpose as they go further into adulthood.
FEM Scholar hosts monthly workshops that address topics such as career development, self-love, and academic curriculum. Currently made up of twenty-five students, the number continues to grow, and Hollis continues to tackle the tasks and challenges. The mentorship of FEM Scholar is transforming the trajectory of lives. It’s a carefully-cultivated community where these students find guidance, inspiration, encouragement, confidence, and life skills.
Day-to-day life for Hollis entails working relentlessly at molding and developing students who, just from the right leadership, could benefit and thrive– and these leadership qualities have been instilled in Hollis since an early age. In high school, she served as the president of the Fashion Club at City Honors, while also dabbling in other clubs that sparked her interest. She recalls what initially drew her attention towards college and academics after high school, “There was a group of students from UCLA that picked me– and a few of my classmates– up every Tuesday to learn more about the possibilities of UCLA and other universities. This is how I got exposed to other schools and the admission process.”
After high school graduation, the college life that she had been looking forward to finally came to fruition. Hollis landed at San Diego State University. Ironically, she did not join any clubs or organizations during her college years because she spent every ounce of free time building her FEM Scholar empire. And she holds zero regrets about this, rightfully so. When you find your calling, sometimes there’s no need to search further.
It makes complete sense that, when she’s away from FEM Scholar, Myra Hollis is a child therapist working with foster youth and women of color who have undergone traumatic experiences. It’s hard to imagine a better-fit occupation for someone who, at a young age, made the decision that she would dedicate her life to the betterment of young women and kids who just need a little encouragement and small nudges toward the right direction.
I asked Hollis where she sees Fem Scholar in five years,
“I see FEM Scholar being a community center– which is already in the works. A space that provides tutoring, hosts workshops, and provides therapy.”
It’s safe to say that the future of FEM Scholar remains bright.