The new face of millennial self-help

Mentorship group kicks off Friday
By Rachel Robles | Apr 18, 2017
Photo by: Thinkstock

The new face of the self-help movement for millennials in Haywood County isn’t attached to a 30-something food and nutrition blogger, hip yoga instructor or bearded craft beer enthusiast. It belongs to Lois Hollis, a 73-year-old retired nurse and ordained minister from Waynesville.

Hollis has established the Millennial Mentorship Meetup, a group that “celebrates individuals under 40 years” who need a boost.

“I come from a place of understanding,” said Hollis. “I want to offer a resource, a place where people can get what they need.

The group will be a place for millennials to get help with writing resumes, preparing for job interviews, collaborate with their peers, make connections, improve communication and essential job skills and tackle any other problem they may be facing.

Hollis said that could be anything from figuring out how to better communicate with a parent and friend to learning how to cook.

“I want to get their input,” said Hollis. “You only know a solution when you know the problem. You tell me the problem and I’ll get the solution.”

Her experience comes from 15 years of helping people, and while she doesn’t claim to be an expert in financing, banking or job placement, she knows people.

Hollis said she feels like a “cosmic switchboard” who connects people who need to meet each other for personal and professional reasons.

As to what a 73-year-old is doing starting a millennial group — “I see the need for it,” she said. “Our future is related to our youth and we are responsible. I feel responsible for our youth.”

Her passion for helping the rising, younger generation comes from a diagnosis she was given over 23 years ago. She was told that, due to her various physical ailments, it was likely she wouldn’t live past 50.

“God gave me these extra years and I want to use them,” said Hollis. “And I’ll use those extra years to put into the youth of our generation.”


How she got here

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Hollis came to Haywood County from Sedona, Arizona, three years ago. It was while recovering from her illnesses that she began her journey of emotional healing.

“I was sick and I wrote to my feelings,” she said. “I talked to my emotions, not about them, and that changed everything.”

Hollis said that people began asking her what she was doing and asked her to help them. They eventually began bringing their relatives for help, and then doctors started sending patients her way.

After 15 years of repeating herself, Hollis finally wrote a book, “Releasing Shame/Guilt,” which she published in 2016. The book is about educating others about what she calls “shame/guilt behavior,” and how to avoid taking it on and giving it out.

“I didn’t expect to be a counselor,” she said. “I was just trying to heal myself.”

Hollis dislikes calling herself a therapist and instead refers to herself as an educator.

“[People] aren’t stupid. [They] just don’t have the right information,” she said. “I educate people and they heal themselves.”

This work that she calls “God-inspired” has led her to Haywood County, where she sees a need. With her background and connections, she hopes to be a resource for millennials.

“Every generation has its issues,” said Hollis. “The milliennials are our future.”

The first Millennial Mentorship Meetup will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Anastasia’s Ales, 428 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville. For more information, visit