Former W-M High teacher chosen to work as principal in Nigeria
Shakiyla Solomon said all someone has to do is tell her something can’t be done and it motivates her to show them it can be done.
She said she was the first person in her family to graduate from college, and then she went on to earn a master’s degree.
A former teacher at Washington-Marion High School, Solomon said she has always encouraged her students and others to find beauty in their own community.
“I’ve hosted four local business-based art auctions and have raised more than $10,000 for Abraham’s Tent,” she said. “All of the items and art came from locally owned businesses and artists right here in Southwest Louisiana.”
Solomon was recently accepted into a program to teach at a teacher-training college and to also serve as an elementary school principal in Jos, Nigeria.
“As surprised as I was when I got the news, I also knew that it was exactly what I was hoping for,” she said.
She hopes to stay in Africa for awhile but she said fundraising and being able to get her immediate needs met for the time that she will be there can be overwhelming. The program has asked her to make a two-year commitment to its school.
Solomon said she has set a fundraising goal of $6,000, which will cover her for at least one year of international health insurance while she is in Nigeria.
“Even as a small-town Louisiana girl, I want my students to know that this world is theirs for the taking and I’m finally leading by example,” she said.
Solomon said she is hosting “one last fundraising auction with about 15 local businesses who are participating. We’re hoping for a great turnout and it will be sort of my send-off because I’ll be leaving for Nigeria about a month after the last fundraiser.”
The fundraiser will take place 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, on the showroom floor at Lake Charles Toyota. Admission is free and refreshments from local vendors will be served.
“We all have a story and although my upbringing was a hard one, it was my choice to take all of the things that happened in my life and move forward in a positive way,” she said. “People need something tangible to inspire them so I try to do that and show others that if there is something that they want, they can go after it.”
Solomon said local artists have donated paintings, prints, and other items for auction while photographers have donated photo sessions to be auctioned off at the fundraiser.
She said although she is excited about her upcoming venture, her family and friends weren’t sure what to think at first.
“My family is somewhat apprehensive about this move and what I’m doing but they know it’s God’s will for my life and not my own so they are now very encouraging to me about it and so are my friends,” Solomon said.
She said she will be heading to Nigeria the week after Thanksgiving to begin this new chapter of her life.
“I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from the community, my family, and my friends,” Solomon said. “Wow, this is really happening. I’m a little anxious about going but I’m also super excited. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
For more information on the fundraiser or to donate items to be auctioned, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘As a small-town Louisiana girl, I want my students to know that this world is theirs for the taking and I’m finally leading by example.’
Accepted into a teacher-training college in Nigeria
A fundraiser will take place 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, on the showroom floor at Lake Charles Toyota.
Shakiyla Solomon, a former teacher at Washington-Marion High School, will be moving to Nigeria soon to work as an elementary school principal.
Artwork by Desiree Burgess is shown from a previous fundraiser. Shakiyla Solomon has previously raised funds for Abraham’s Tent.
This original oil painting by artist Kallan Stout is among the items that will be auctioned off at a fundraiser for Shakiyla Solomon who is moving to Nigeria to become an elementary school principal.