The Barbara Tommey Hope of Glory Scholarship
About Barbara Tommey
Barbara, affectionately known as “Famia” or “B,” was a brilliant, bold and beautiful soul who graced our world for twenty-seven years. She was born on the night of May 14, 1993, in Accra, Ghana, and moved to the United States as a child, spending most of her life Central Florida.
Barbara was a free spirit whose ambition, inner beauty and courage set her apart as one who many could learn from.
As for her ambition, Barbara was committed to education and professional excellence. After graduating from Apopka High School in Orlando, Florida, Barbara earned an Associate of Arts at Valencia College and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Central Florida. Full of drive, Barbara pressed on for a Master of Science in Marketing from Maryville University. She had just began the journey of acquiring this degree when she passed on. Barbara’s ambition and work ethic was such that she worked her own way through school and paid for her own education without a single loan—all debt free.
Barbara’s ambition was not limited to her education; it permeated her career. After diligently working at Navy Federal Credit Union for 5 years, she earned the position of Assistant Branch Manager and was training for her promotion to Branch Manager at the time of her passing. She worked tirelessly and gave her best to her job, even up until the last few seconds of her life.
Aside from educational and professional achievements, Barbara was beautiful—not just physically. Beyond the beautiful exterior that housed her spirit and soul, Barbara radiated a profound beauty that stemmed from the virtues of selflessness, of kindness and of compassion. She habitually hunted down ways to serve others. From serving in church to mentoring others and everything in between, people seldom lacked help when Barbara was around.
Barbara lived by the motto “be kind.” In fact, kindness meant so much to her that she deliberately gave herself reminders to be kind, from post-it notes on her mirror to social media posts to art frames with the words “be kind” inscribed on them. So great was her kindness that she readily rose to be an advocate for others—particularly those who were vulnerable.
In addition to her ambition and inner beauty, Barbara was brave. It takes immense courage to leave an abusive relationship, marriage or home. It takes bravery to resolve that enough is enough. And it takes boldness to act on that resolution.
In the face of uncertainty and pain, Barbara chose the way of courage. She bravely chose to leave a physically abusive marriage, finally experiencing deep-abiding peace, freedom and joy before her passing.
On September 8, 2020, Barbara’s life abruptly ended at the hands of the man to whom she was married and from whom she had bravely fled. Though her attacker tried to silence her, Barbara speaks louder than ever, as her story inspires many others to quickly leave abusive situations and seek help.
Even now, Barbara spurs us on to courageously fight alongside those impacted by domestic violence through ambitious diligence, through kindness and through compassion.