When you meet Brandy Coty, you can instantly tell she has a caring heart. She studied social work in college and then went straight into working at Child Protective Services (CPS). She mentions how difficult and emotional it was “being responsible for aiding in the court’s determination of whether or not a parent was fit to continue caring for their child. That’s a lot of responsibility for a 20-something. But despite the challenges of the job, one of the greatest benefits of working for CPS was the ability to show children they were deserving of love.”
Her manager observed that Brandy had a skill to communicate in the “magic language of teenagers.” After mentally deciding she needed to leave CPS, Brandy wanted to first make sure she was able to see the caseload of her 7 teenagers in high school all graduate. But there was 1 girl who was only 13 years old that she couldn’t see through in that milestone. Her name was Zoie.
Last year, Brandy decided to open a transitional home for young females aging out of the foster care system. She named it Zoie’s Place. While it saddened Brandy that she wasn’t able to physically be there for Zoie, she continues to stay in touch with her. Zoie finished school and now works for Amazon in Austin.
At Zoie’s Place, Brandy’s rules are that each girl must take at least 1 class. It can be a photography class or a dance class, any class as long as they stay in school. Each girl is required to do chores around the house and participate in Life Skills classes. She supports them by helping them get jobs, get identification (some may not have their birth certificate or a driver’s license), and by just being there for emotional support.
In her love for building Zoie’s Place, Brandy has not taken a salary since July of 2016. One way or the other, volunteers and her faith have always provided what she and the girls at Zoie’s Place require.