Phyllis Jean Rollins used her Winthrop education to impact the lives of hundreds of young men and women in Rock Hill through public recreation. She spent her career directing various recreation programs at Boyd Hill and Emmett Scott Recreation Centers for the Rock Hill Parks and Recreation Department. For 30 years, she provided guidance, discipline, and love to the children who came through the Boyd Hill and Emmett Scott Centers' doors.
Ms. Rollins dedication to the children of Rock Hill was recognized by the NAACP in 1998, by the Rock Hill Boxing Association in 1999, and the City of Rock Hill presented her with the SCRPA Award for her work with Double Dutch in 2000. As local columnists Andrew Dys described her: “ „The Queen of Boyd Hill,‟ is how Boyd Hill‟s kids-turned-adults describe Phyllis Rollins. Her armaments were sacks of basketballs and softball bats and volleyballs. Soccer balls and notebooks for homework. Hugs and love for any who wanted it.” She drove kids to games, helped with homework, used her own money on meals, sneakers, and trophies. She loved her work, she loved the kids, and she loved the city of Rock Hill.
Her children (now 40 and 50 year old adults) organized a banquet in her honor in 2009. Without help from any agency or politician, this group of former kids of “Phil” arranged an appreciation dinner for the one individual who always had time to give to them. They began a group called BOSS (Building Our Seed Successfully) to continue her work with the current kids of Boyd Hill. BOSS provides young men and women at Boyd Hill and other areas positive role models and mentors these young people in the same way they were mentored by Phyllis Rollins. BOSS is a direct legacy of her 30 year career in public recreation in Rock Hill. The appreciation dinner was their way of saying thank you to a woman who gave so freely of herself and made a difference in so many lives.
Not many people can have a banquet thrown in their honor without some civic group or institution providing the impetus. This was not necessary for Phyllis Rollins. The lives she touched at Boyd Hill and later at the Emmett Scott Center just wanted to let her know how much she meant to them.