Great Women of Texas 2019: Carol Kirby Brown

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Carol Kirby Brown

Executive Director

Como Lions Heart

How early do you hear your calling?

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For Carol K. Brown, it was at the age of 7 under the direction of her mother, also her Girl Scout troop leader. Brown learned to be a servant and advocate for others.

This was reinforced when her mother, Mattie Kirby, became the PTA President of the community elementary school, giving the young Brown responsibility for assisting her in organizing activities to entertain youth who attended the meeting with their parents.

By the time she turned 13, Brown was working at a local hospital as a volunteer Candy Striper. During her tenure there she won state recognition for her creation of a playroom for kids hospitalized in the pediatric ward.

In her junior year of college, while working in the administrative office of the Circle T Girl Scout office, she was asked to oversee a Girl Scout troop of eight members. Under Brown’s leadership, this undertaking increased to a total of four groups with more than 100 members.

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For more than six years, she also led a yearly week-end Girl Scout camp, called “Fun in the Sun,” which was a camp for low income girls who otherwise would never have had a camping experience.

For all her work with Girl Scouts Brown has received the Thanks Badge, which is the highest adult Girl Scout award.

For 35 years, Brown served as the Community Center Coordinator for the Como Community Center, located in a historic neighborhood of Fort Worth, Lake Como. By organizing a coalition among the Fort Worth Independent School District, City of Fort Worth and other private stakeholders, Brown was successful in creating one of the first structured afterschool programs in the Como community.

The Como Kids Afterschool Program has served as a model for others throughout Fort Worth.

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“Carol Brown gets to know the people on a personal level and knows what is truly needed,” said Debbie Cooley of M-Pak Inc., who nominated Brown. “[She’s] not just sitting on a board, but she is in the community getting to know the people.”

Retiring from her Como Community Center job, Brown started a nonprofit organization, Como Lions Heart, that locates financial resources to support the activities of the Como Community Center and the Como Community. 

Her work has continued to broaden, but always returned to the foundation of her youth, serving others.

Robert Francis


What advice would you give young women rising to a position of prominence?

I would tell young women to pace themselves, be ready to make personal sacrifices, do something you are passionate about and never let the nay sayers get in your way.

You could choose to spend your time many ways; why do you choose to spend it the way you do?

I was born and raised in Lake Como. I know the needs of the community as well as the strengths and opportunities. Someone cared enough when I was young to reach out and pull me up and along. That

is the least I can do.

Who is the most significant role model and/or mentor in your life?

My mother. Mattie Kirby. She had four children and made sure we all knew what giving back to your community meant. She was just a maid, but she believed in children. At one time, she was president of  the PTA and on the board of three others along with being a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. She rocked.

What book, movie, TV series or play influenced you growing up?  Why?

None. It was the many people that I had the honor to work with –  Viola Pitts, Dorothy DeBose, Nancy Murphy, Tommie Henton. Debbie Cooley, Kelly Allen Gray and too many others to name.