As a naive 20-something-year-old, having just graduated from Tarleton State University, Brandy went to work for the Department of Family and Protective Services. Little did she know this job would change her life forever.
“I always tell people, whether you work at Child Protective Services (CPS) for two weeks or ten years, it changes you because it is the kind of job that leaves a piece of your heart behind.”
During her time as a CPS caseworker, she worked with several teenagers who shaped her skillset as a Social Worker. One thing she noticed time and time again was how used to abandonment these youth were. Youth after youth she was up against the same challenge– proving she was different than the others and that she was not going to leave them or abandon them.
Brandy began to understand that the key to making a lasting impact in the lives of these youth was persistence, commitment and dedication. It was through this approach that she began to see change in their lives. Youth who were once getting in fights every day at school, running away, and getting kicked out of placements, began to try harder because they believed they could make something of their life. She believed in them and they began to believe in themselves.
After several years working as a caseworker for the state of Texas, Brandy moved on to work with adults, primarily in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. Over the course of her years as a Social Worker, she worked in a psychiatric emergency room, a homeless shelter, and three county jails. Seeing the direct connection between youth aging out of foster care and youth entering the other social service programs, she desired to make a great impact– that is why she started Zoie’s Place.
With over 10 years’ experience as a Social Worker, Brandy’s cumulative work history have equipped her to lead and direct Zoie’s Place. Brandy is passionate about bridging the gap between foster care and adulthood. She desires to see every youth connected with a community of support and equipped with the skills they need to live independently.