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SHIRL SOLOMON, SURVIVOR, ENTREPRENEUR, EDUCATOR

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Shirl Solomon, director of Priceless Childcare and Learning Center, is on a mission to make a difference in the lives of people. The New Orleans native arrived in Texas — along with thousands of others — in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “It was a seminal moment in all of our lives,’ said Solomon. “Few people in life have to stand face ­to ­face with losing everything in the space of two days. What can prepare you for this? ”Starting over in North Texas with a single bag of clothes, Shirl has built a learning center that does more than just provide daycare, but seeks to educate and influence families, infusing them with values and ideals to help them transform.

There is a common notion that those touched by tragedy are moved with compassion to understand the plight of others. Learning elements of entrepreneurship from her father, Shirl was President of a group that owned and operated multiple entertainment venues in Louisiana. All of this washed away in the late summer of 2005 when the 17th street canal and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet gave way ending the lives and dreams of tens of thousands. “The long­term impact is still being felt,” said Shirl. “But, you learned to go on. You live on the fundamentals of scriptures which teach us that God is in control.” 

Shirl’s goal is to begin slowly and craft an infrastructure for an organization destined to survive and thrive for years. “We chose the name Fortified City for our new organization because that name is alive with strength and hope. This is one way of giving back to the people of Texas who directed so much kindness toward a stranger. I want to continue making a difference and empower others to do the same.” 

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