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Community trailblazer Phyllis D. Hollis Bailey helps students succeed

Phyllis D. Hollis Bailey (Photo credit: Harriett G. Darnell Senior Multipurpose Center)

Phyllis Duvall Hollis Bailey is a humanitarian who has dedicated her life to service. The Howard University graduate has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a minor in economics, mathematics, and education. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in educational supervision and curriculum development as well as a Master of Science degree in guidance and counseling.

She is a member of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the United Nations Association of the United States of America. She also is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and active in Atlanta’s Kappa Omega chapter.

In 2014, the sorority teamed up with UNA-USA, and Bailey served as the chair for the UNA-AKA Kappa Omega “Window Seat to the World” initiative. Window Seat to the World is designed to transform high school students into global citizens through the Kappa Omega youth enrichment program known as ASCEND℠, an acronym that stands for achievement, self-awareness, communication, engagement, networking, and developmental skills.

As part of the initiative, Bailey donated $10,000 to sponsor 10 students to take an educational trip this summer to the United Nations headquarters in New York City. In turn, the United Nations Association of Atlanta partnered with the Kappa Omega chapter to donate $1,000 to launch the Phyllis D. Bailey Humanitarian Scholarship in honor of her impactful contribution.

The accomplished educator lives by the motto, “If I can be of service and change the life of just one person for the better, my mission in life has been fulfilled.”

Rolling out recently spoke with Bailey about her dedication to service over the years.

In one sentence, why did you sponsor a trip for 10 children to visit the United Nations?

I needed to sponsor the 10 students on a visit to the United Nations because as a teacher, I know that learning is made permanent by seeing, doing and feeling on a personal level.

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?

It is important that we serve in leadership and decision-making capacities because we have been forced since the time of slavery to be able to lead with compassion and understanding and, at the same time, keep an eye on production and profit. It appears that our painful history has inadvertently prepared us for these roles.

What is your proudest achievement?

All that I have ever done has met a need. I’m just so grateful that I have been blessed to be able to help in some small way. I have lived for 82 years, and this is the rent that I pay for my place on this earth.

What three habits have you implemented into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity, and peace of mind?

Maintain an active and effective spiritual life, tell the truth, and be true to yourself. You are good enough, have enough and can be enough for your dreams to come true.

Provide your favorite inspirational quote, if you have one.

“God has smiled on me. He has set me free. God has smiled on me. He’s been good to me.”