Our agency was featured in an article this month for Carolina Day School. We are very please that Brandi’s legacy lives on. Click on Continue Reading to see the entire article.
CDS Alumna Legacy: Supporting Local Foster Children
Brandi Nichole Cowan ’00 passed away in 2008 but her legacy lives on in service to children in our community. Brandi’s mother, Ms. Karen Cowan, is the Director of the Brandi Nichole Enrichment Center an organization that helps foster children with mental health diagnoses find foster homes with trained caregivers. They are currently working with 14 children and 17 families providing therapeutic respite care.
The center was re-named in Brandi’s memory in 2010. Brandi grew up in a home where parenting foster children was a way of life. Ms. Karen began her life-long work as a child advocate as a case manager finding placements for the children who were most likely to be left behind in the child welfare system. In addition to her social work with children, she fostered for 14 years, and managed a group home before she took on her current role. Brandi grew up volunteering, and after college she worked with mentally-challenged students one-on-one in the classroom to help them manage their behaviors and get the most out of their education.
Brandi valued her CDS education. She attended the school from 1993 and graduated with the class of 2000. Her mom says that the biggest thing Brandi got out of her time at CDS was her strength. Ms. Karen said, “The care, support, and love provided by the teachers didn’t allow her to fail and provided her with a foundation to start her life. She had a family at Carolina Day.” Brandi had juvenile diabetes, which was difficult to control, but her mom said, “CDS invested in her and I knew she was always in good care there.”
Another CDS alumna, Charlene Fidelia ’07, joined the Brandi Nichole Center as the PR/Communications Manager in 2013. She said of her work at the center, “It’s important to be able to share in the memory of Brandi, to encourage others. What we’re doing here changes people’s lives.”
Fidelia coordinated with Carolina Day over the holidays to connect Gail Wallace’s Spanish class to give gifts to the foster children in the Center’s care.
Brandi’s other legacy in her life is her son, now seven, who lives with Ms. Karen. He’s not quite old enough to follow in his mom’s footsteps in caring for foster children, but Ms. Karen says he already prays for them and keeps them in his heart.
Click here to read more stories on Carolina Day School’s blog.