One of Brande’s favorite memories from her time at Girls Hope was Halloween at the Baden house.
“We used to have pumpkin carving competitions in the house,” Brande explained. “It got pretty competitive, or at least I did. It was a lot of fun!”
After moving into our residential home in Baden in 2003, Girls Hope became a gateway of opportunities for Brande, who took advantage of as many experiences as she could. In fact, she made it a priority to participate in numerous activities that Girls Hope made available to her.
“I got to experience a lot of ballets, plays, musicals, football games, and baseball games,” Brande said. “I never would have had the opportunity to have those experiences without this program.”
However, Brande’s experience at Girls Hope wasn’t all fun and games. Throughout her time in the program, she maintained a focus on her academics. Her dedication to her education and strong work ethic paid off when she graduated from Quigley Catholic High School in 2011.
After high school, Brande attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she completed an Honors Program. In 2015, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business administration with a focus in financial services. Later that year, Brande accepted a position with the investment management firm Vanguard and moved to Philadelphia. She feels that Girls Hope prepared her for her transition.
“Moving to Girls Hope was hard at first,” Brande explained. “I didn’t know anybody. Being there taught me to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Girls Hope taught me that it’s okay to not be comfortable. Sometime the best opportunities help you get out of your comfort zone.”
Recently, Brande received a promotion at Vanguard. She is still living in Philadelphia, where she enjoys exploring the city, attending sporting events, and taking additional classes in java script and SQL techniques to broaden her education.