Brie In Space: Funding An Education

(This information has been copied over from GoFundMe)

The Gist
It’s never too late to find your purpose. That’s what my dear friend and cousin GaBRIElla Wendt discovered when she realized she wanted to be an engineer. And not just any engineer. One whose work takes her out of the earth’s orbit (Astronautical engineering) Now she’s trying to find the funds to focus on her education ““ first a bachelors, then a masters, and eventually a Ph.D.

The Ask
Anyone who has had to work their way through school knows how difficult it can be ““ and it’s even worse when you’re a hard science major (good luck seeing the light of day when you’re studying for your Calculus in Three Dimensions exam!). Scholarships and grants are great, but her financial aid is hampered by a “too high” income from 2012 (according to FAFSA, but not according to reality) to get enough help to pay the bills and too little income to take out a personal loan. Unfortunately, women-in-STEM scholarship money isn’t available until junior or senior year. Her family isn’t able to contribute enough to cover the difference, so she’s on her own.
This is where you come in. We (her sister Jennifer and cousin Catherine-Rose) are hoping you could help fill in the gap until scholarships can help carry her the rest of the way.

A kind, anonymous benefactor has already agreed to match donations towards Brie’s education dollar for dollar up to $1,000 – which means every penny you put toward her education is essentially doubled.

Anything above and beyond what Brie needs to fund her education (through to the Ph.D. level) will go towards starting a scholarship for other women and men who find their life’s purpose after the age of 25.

The Background
A lifelong science nerd, sci-fi addict, and dreamer, 25 year-old Brie has experienced her share of hardship. Like a lot of young adults in the U.S., her access to a quality K-12 education was limited (despite being an A student, a combination of homeschooling and a poor school district left her with various educational deficits) and money has been a struggle her entire life. She still worked hard to get a steady job in administrative services and eventually take a few college level classes in the hopes of maybe someday becoming a teacher. She imagined a humble life where she could help a few kids through her teaching and possibly own a home someday.

Through a series of unfortunate events, including a worldview shaking breakup, she realized she had unintentionally put limits on her aspirations. Inspired by the likes of KhanAcademy, women in STEM initiatives, and her love of science, she realized her secret yearning to swim amongst the stars could be a reality. She started researching career paths and was drawn to aerospace engineering with a focus in astronautics.

A Few Words From Brie
My name is Brie, and I have a dream. To shed myself of limitations, throw away my insecurities, and finally pursue my passions and goals with determination and aplomb. My “reach for the stars” dream is to be an astronaut. Short of that, I WILL become an amazing astronautical engineer. And further humanity by making substantial contributions to the field of space exploration.

I will achieve all of this by going back to school full-time, starting with a junior college (I’m already taking classes, which began in late August). I will then transfer to a respected four year school to finish my bachelors, then progress to graduate work. I will then seek employment with an international company whose vision for the future is similar to my own. Should the opportunity arise, I will apply for astronaut programs or space exploration opportunities along the way.

Though it’s only been a few weeks, school has been incredible so far. I feel so driven and alive and am working hard to make the financial side of things work.

Thanks so much for reading!