For a lot of us it can take many years to figure out what we’re good at, or what our careers are going to look like, but for Holley Murchison the decision pretty much made itself. “Teaching runs in my family and has always come naturally to me,” she says. “I believe it’s in my blood.”
And with a lineage like Holley’s it’s little wonder. The educator and entrepreneur comes from a long line of politically active educators, teaching artists and musicians. Surrounded by influential women from a young age, her paternal grandmother was a self-taught singer-songwriter and instructor who taught a travelling choir while her aunt, Saundra ‘Tukee’ Barnes, was invited by the Ministry of Education in Beijing as an international expert to teach Scientific English to the top 10% of the entire graduate school population during the 1980s. “A trail was definitely blazed before me,” Holley says, “and this generational curiosity and thirst for learning is what shaped my capacity to teach, and reach, others, since I was a kid.”
As a child Holley gravitated towards places that fed her thirst for knowledge, and fell further in love with teaching during afternoons spent in her local library, Macomb’s Bridge Library, in Harlem, New York. Obsessing over books and the power of language on a near-daily basis, when the library got its first computer Holley quickly learnt all of the programmes and, at age 12, was hired by the library to teach others how to use it as a part time job.
The goal was to inspire and expose young people — and the communities who supported them...