Meet Brandie: Our First WES Recipient

Her childhood was at times ugly and terrifying. Her early adulthood showed residual signs of the harm the abuse had wrought as she suffered emotionally and failed too many classes at the local community college. Then one day, her dark journey took a different path, beginning with the supportive ear of a trusted advocate at Sanctuary, Inc., the local advocacy center. With the advocate’s help, Brandie found her way back on a path to recovery.

In 2013, Brandie’s advocate from Sanctuary told her about a special scholarship for abuse survivors that had been created by the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW). The advocate had just heard about the new Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program and suggested the unthinkable: that Brandie apply.

A scholarship seemed unlikely at the time, but by the end of that same night Brandie, had completed and submitted the application.

Brandie’s journey became a whirlwind with the news that she had been accepted as a student at UK and was subsequently selected as the inaugural recipient of the Verizon Wireless Women’s Empowerment Scholarship. The Scholarship also meant a move to Lexington, Kentucky; a new job and apartment. A new life.

As her academic life progressed, Brandie collected one honor after another. She was named a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.5 GPA and
a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars for her “commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.” 

In May 2016, with her head high, shoulders back, eyes bright with justifiable self-pride, Brandie stepped onto
 the University of Kentucky Commencement stage to accept a diploma in Health Science Clinical Leadership and Management. She proudly held a diploma in her hand as the inaugural Verizon Wireless Women’s Empowerment Scholarship recipient.

That’s far from the end of Brandie Cobb’s story. Beginning 
in fall 2016, Brandie entered graduate school and in May 2019 was awarded a Master of Science in Health Informatics. “The Women’s Empowerment Scholarship changed my life, and now I want to show other women what they are capable of accomplishing...They, too, can go from surviving to thriving.” she said.

“Watching Brandie use the Verizon Wireless Women’s Empowerment Scholarship to launch a new life will be a great motivation for all survivors who follow her in holding the scholarship…She has been a profound inspiration for all of us who have stood with Brandie to cheer her on,” said Carol E. Jordan, Executive Director of the OPSVAW.

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