Brandie Powell returned to pursue a higher education when her life was already filled with responsibilities. She worked, took care of two children and her family, and was active in community service, volunteering for her community, church, and Piedmont Community College (PCC). None of her responsibilities held her back because when she graduated from PCC in 2018 with her Associate in Arts degree, she did so with the highest honors, Summa Cum Laude.

Fast forward five years, Powell has not skipped a beat and continues to serve her community in various ways. Her oldest daughter, Kyla, is enrolled at PCC — at the suggestion of her mother — and Brandie is the College’s 2023 Alumnus of the Year.

“Brandie takes the mission of the Alumni Partnership to heart — to serve, share, and support, the College,” said Shirley Deal, PCC Board of Trustees member and Chair of the PCC Alumni Partnership. “She serves on the Alumni Cabinet, volunteers, and advocates for PCC using her positive attitude to encourage those around her to pursue their education here at their hometown college.”

In addition, Powell is moved to make a difference in her community without hesitation. She actively volunteers at Partnership for Children, Roxboro Community School, and Lamberth Memorial Baptist Church, and feels called to assist others and guide future generations.

Her professional and service achievements include:

  • Earning the Duke Presidential Award in 2009;
  • Sunday School teacher at Lamberth Memorial Baptist Church;
  • Serves on the Cabinet of Partnership for Children;
  • Volunteers on the PCC Alumni Cabinet.

An emotional Powell accepted the 2023 PCC Alumnus of the Year award, saying, “I am speechless. Truly. PCC is such an amazing place, that I encouraged my daughter to follow in my footsteps so she can receive the same education as her friends at universities, but at a fraction of the cost.”

She continued, “This college makes the impossible possible. It supports students and leads them to succeed in their education and future careers.”

Powell was nominated for the award by her daughter, Kyla, and recommended by many of peers.

“As a friend and church member with Brandie, I was amazed and inspired by her ability to have so many roles in her community, in school, and as a mother; none of which have not slowed down,” her friend Gina Lunsford said.

Family friend, Charis Shattuck echoed these remarks and added, “Brandie is proud of her degree and encourages young people to start their college careers at PCC as well. She is an advocate for community college education and is passionate about sharing what it did for her with a  positive attitude and heir of respect.”

During the recognition ceremony, Kyla had the privilege to watch her mother receive the award and express what it and PCC mean to her.

“Being able to share this moment with mom as she received this award was so heartwarming,” Kyla said. “After keeping this nomination and award a secret from her for about a month, I was touched to see her so shocked and so happy. The fact that I’m a current student at Piedmont Community College, the institution she graduated from, makes this special award hit even closer to home for me. It was truly an unexplainable feeling the moment she was awarded.”

“I’m so thankful for my experience at Piedmont Community College, and I am overjoyed to do anything I can do to support this institution,” Powell said. “This honor means so much, and I am grateful to represent PCC in another way.”

About the PCC Alumni Partnership’s Alumnus of the Year:

Nominees for this meaningful award must have completed a degree, diploma, or certificate program at PCC; demonstrated support to the College through monetary contributions and/or volunteer service, have achievement in their professions, and have outstanding service in civic/community affairs.

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