Shirley M. Sadler is the daughter of the late Edward and Sylvia Drew Sadler. She was born in St. Kitts British West Indies on, July 19, 1958. In the early 60’s, her parents in search of a better future migrated to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands with their five children, with Shirley being the third child third of eight children: Mary, Russell, “Shirley” Cheryl, John, Coral, William, and Pat. Shirley also has two older sisters and an older brother; children her father had prior to marring her mother, Mary (aka Mem) Catharine, and Uriel (aka Isaac). Unfortunately, Catharine, Uriel, and John are deceased. Shirley is a single parent of an only child Khallid, her gem of gems. Today, without a doubt, Shirley would boldly and proudly state that her biggest accomplishment in life comes in being the best parent she could be. In being all that she can be Shirley is forever giving thanks and praises to God for His Grace and Mercy. Shirley, a woman of prayer/ who strongly believes that when the “Prayers” goes up, the “Blessings” comes down, as there is nothing more powerful in life than prayer.
Shirley received her early education on St. Thomas at the George Washington Elementary School, which was later renamed the Evelyn Marcelli. Today, one can only imagine Shirley’s disappointment when her beloved school was closed officially in 2012. Prior, to the closing Shirley did become actively involved with the community’s efforts in attempting to keep the school from closing. She is a graduate of Wayne Aspinal Jr. High School, which was later renamed the Addelita Cancryn. Shirley is a graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School, Class of 1977. She attended the College of the Virgin Islands, now the University of the Virgin Islands, for a period of one year. She later transferred to Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1984.
Upon graduation she remained in Boston for seven more years. In December of 1989 she returned home with plans of establishing a Halfway House for first time offenders. However, due to lack of start-up funds and a commitment from the VI Government her dreams went with the wind. In January of 1994 she began working for Senator Judy M. Gomez as a Researcher. During her seven years tenure she became Special Assistant to the Senator and Office Manager. Shirley’s employment at the Legislature did in fact enhanced and enlightened her political views, and believing that she can make a positive difference in the lives of the people of the Virgin Islands Shirley humbly offered herself as a Senatorial Candidate in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016. Although, unsuccessful in her bids Shirley strongly believe that she did in fact contributed greatly, for some of her ideas where implemented into law or were used in various manner within the community by others.
Presently, Shirley is currently working within her field of study at the VI Inspector General’s Office as an Investigative Support Specialist. She is solely responsible for the day to day operations of the Fraud and Corruption Hotline Program; as well as, the maintenance of a system for controlling and disposing of allegations and complaints in regards to fraud or possible fraud in government in a “professional and highly confidential manner”.
Outside of her professional world Shirley is truly a caring individual, who always put service before self. Shirley’s emphasis, however, is mainly on the homeless, mentally ill, sick and shut-ins, the elderly, and women and children. Our disenfranchised has always been at the center of Shirley’s true passion in life. As such, throughout the years Shirley has become a consummate activist, her voice is remarkably familiar to many in our community on the radio. Shirley, even host her own radio show “Girl’z Talk” on WSTA and dealt openly with issues of concern in the community. She is constantly speaking out, and she is never afraid to think outside of the box, even when it is not popular.
Shirley is an individual, who truly practice what she preaches. In February of 2009 to November of 2011 she walked our streets and traveled our byways and highways with Deliverance Outreach Ministry feeding and clothing the less fortunate among us. They were found in abandon buildings, on street corners, in alleys, and even in the bushes. It was this harsh and cruel reality of life that opened her eyes to the immediate needs of our disenfranchised. As a result, she took this need to her Church LBA and became Founder, Coordinator, and Grant Writer for the First Wesleyan Holiness Church Soup Kitchen in November of 2009, a position she held till April of 2012. To which, in her tenure the soup kitchen provided hot meals every Saturday and served on average 225 plates to the public. Shirley was also Sunday School Superintendent and severed on the Local Board of Administration during her tenure from 2008 to 2009.
Shirley was PTA Secretary, Vice President, and President at First Wesleyan Academy throughout her son’s tenure in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. And she was an ex-officio member of the CAHS 2012 PSTA.
In 2005, Shirley was appointed by the then Governor Charles W. Turnbull to The Commission on the Status of Women for a three-year term. She served in the capacity as Vice Chair to the Commission; Co-chair to the Women’s Hall of Fame Committee, as she was the Chair for the District of St. Thomas/St. John. She also was Chair of Commission Essay Contest in 2006.
Shirley is and will always be a server to her beloved community. She was wholeheartedly committed for several years to the Jason Carroll Memorial Scholarship Activities and Fund Raiser, to which her son Khallid was a co-recipient in 2012. Since then Shirley has being actively involved in all the organizations activities, which include but are not limited to: The Annual Walk/Run; The 10 Miles Peace Walk/Run; The Father’s Back To School Fun Day; The Father’s Day Back to School March. Knowing, that all these activities are at the heart and strength of “Reaching Out and Touching Lives”.
Today, Shirley, strongly encourage each of us to become actively involved in reaching out and touching lives, make a difference, for it is indeed better to give than to receive. This is Shirley’s Motto in life.
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