Hailing from South Bend, Indiana, Brenda comes from a family that taught her to achieve her desires. With a heart for helping others to become their very best in life, she empowers and encourages others and has made it her mission in life to help others navigate situations such as those she has successfully traversed. At 40 years of age, Brenda suddenly lost her sight due to a virus that attacked her optic nerves.
The first was sitting in a church listening to a minister say “You must start by loving yourself”. Not knowing or really understanding what this meant, Brenda started working with a spiritual practitioner. She first assignment she received was to stand in front of a mirror and say “I Love You” over and over every day. Brenda did the exercise faithfully and still does it to this day.
The second impact was meeting a woman who would help change the course of her whole life. The woman was a counselor with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and helped Brenda learn new options to function in the world of the blind. With assistive technology, she was able to put her life back on track, to an even better path than before.
Above & Beyond
Brenda was ultimately able to return to college and obtain a degree in Human Services. Then, she went above and beyond and also received her Master’s degree, as well as becoming a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Brenda has used the example of her own life circumstances to show others that it’s not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you. In fact, this was the title of a commencement speech she was asked to present to her 1999 graduating class at Metropolitan State University in Colorado.
Transcending the odds to achieve success and find unprecedented joy in the face of life challenges.
Brenda is a model of positivity and productivity. She started an employment service based on the premise that being disabled does not mean being unemployable. Brenda would never have achieved the wonderful life she now lives without having people who cared and who also helped her find new avenues of learning, and accomplishment.
With a grand vision and passion to spare, Brenda is a bright light in the darkness that often accompanies those struggling with a disability. She knows that sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the resources that are available, has walked the walk, and is passionate to share what she has learned with others.
Brenda has been acknowledged by the Governor of Colorado, by being appointed to the State Rehabilitation Council. She has also been honored in the past by Denver’s Mayor, by appointment as a Commissioner on the Board of the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities. Brenda holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and is a Certified Life Coach.