CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville woman is making it her full-time job to make sure young girls struggling with physical and mental health feel empowered.

Myra Anderson is a social entrepreneur and advocate in the Charlottesville community. She hosts “pay what you can” work-out classes and started a book club for young girls.

For all her hard work, the law firm Allen & Allen is recognizing her as one of its Hometown Heroes this year.

Upbeat workout classes are a regular part of Anderson's day. However, the Inspire Fitness co-founder wasn't always on such a health kick.

“I had diabetes and high cholesterol,” says Anderson.

Anderson was given two choices when she stepped in the emergency room four years ago - change her lifestyle or go under the needle for weight loss surgery.

She joined a gym the very next day.

“I started exercising regularly every day and eating well, and I was able to reverse the diagnosis for both of those things," says Anderson.

Anderson quickly fell in love with fitness.

She wanted to help others in the community feel as great as she did following her change in lifestyle, so she quit her job and became an instructor and created her own company.

"I remember trying to explain to my dad that I had resigned from my job and I wanted to teach exercise classes and he was like, ‘that's your plan?’” says Anderson.

That, indeed, was the plan. Now, she holds about seven classes per week around town.

They're all “pay what you can” to make it easier for anyone to participate.

"I wanted to have classes, but make them affordable to everyone because not everyone can afford the gym membership but they may want to come to class," says Anderson.

But when it came to helping the community, she didn't stop there.

"I believe that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body,” says Anderson.

Anderson also hosts what she calls Princess Book Club, where young girls dress up in tiaras and gowns and use their wands to follow along while reading.

And now for her help in making young girls everywhere feel like royalty, Anderson is being recognized for her contributions to the community.

“Sometimes when people think of heroes they think of these people who are doing heroic things that you see on TV, but heroes can be just everyday people who are investing in their community,” says Anderson.

On Friday, July 27, you'll hear from Allen & Allen on the selection process and the program's background. Anderson and the other three people being recognized as Hometown Heroes from the central Virginia area will be honored at the Sprint Pavilion Friday night.