Dr. Patrice Holley: Education is Our Best Debt and Community is Our Best Support
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Dr. Patrice Holley’s roots stem back to generations of fighters and go-getters. The story starts with her grandparents, gets passed down to her parents, and is instilled in her. Her grandparents were both college-educated. They actually met on a college campus, but how they got to that college campus is interesting and moving. Dr. Holley’s grandmother grew up on a farm. She also grew up in a county where she couldn’t continue her education past the 8th grade. Her grandmother knew that she wanted more than to live on a farm for the rest of her life, so she decided to pack her things and moved, by foot, to a place where she could finish her education and go on to college.
Dr. Holley’s grandfather, also known as her paw paw, was a graduate of Booker T High school when he decided to take a gap year before transitioning into college. He took that year to take care of his family in St.Louis before his friend, Dr. Holley’s godfather, convinced Dr.Holley’s grandfather to start his collegiate journey at the Mississippi Institute. This is where he met Dr. Holley’s grandmother.
The story of how Dr.Holley’s grandparents met is one that moves her emotionally and motivates her to know that she has the power to overcome any circumstances she is in. She believes this same go-getter mindset is what is lacking in the community today and that’s why people aren’t where they would truly like to be in life.
“I think just knowing people’s stories and seeing where they have come from and where they are and letting that inspire you to know that they did it and so can you is powerful. That may sound cliche but it’s not. It’s true,” said Dr. Patrice Holley.