Holly’s Story


My name is Holley Monell Murchison and I‘m a program director for an organization called College for Every Student. I‘m the co-founder and co-creator of the Hall Pass Tour, which is an initiative that uses music to advance access to higher education. 

I‘m originally from Harlem, New York. I came from a place where we didn’t have much but we always had everything we needed. I made a huge mistake my senior year in high school. It was a big grade-changing scandal. I was one of the stars on my basketball team. A teacher passed me when he should have failed me and the news came out to the PSAL, our athletic league. We had to forfeit every game that we’d played while I was ineligible. 

That showed me that success needs to be honest and everything that we do, there’s a consequence. Everything we do is a choice but there are also consequences for those choices. For me it was like no lying, no trickery. I need to get whatever I‘m going to get out of this life the honest way. 

Oh, I‘ve learned some lessons in college. The greatest lesson that Ilearned is that there’s so much more to the world than your own backyard. In little Odessa, Texas I was able to forge relationships with some incredible people from across the country, people who are still a part of my life today, five to 10 years later. 

Success to me is doing what you said you were going to do when you said you’re going to do it. Sometimes we can stand in our own way.There are times when I‘m sure what I‘ve done other people would measure as, “That’s great”, but I‘m always like, “No, I could be doing more”. 

Every day I wake up is an excellent day because there’s a possibility that I might not wake up tomorrow. Just knowing that I got a fresh 24 to do more, to become more, to help somebody else, that’s really all Ineed. 

I do everything that I do out of love. I don’t believe in working because the paycheck is big. If my heart isn’t in it, I‘m not with it. I‘m influenced by people who are doing things that they love. My name is Holley Monell Murchison and success happens.