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Student Feature: Destiny Rising

September 1, 2020

In 2014, Scoppechio established the Rise Above Scholarship at the University of Louisville to be awarded annually to a student in the College of Business in memory of Debbie Scoppechio, our founder, former CEO and chairperson. An outgoing community and business leader, Debbie inspired a countless number of young women in Louisville and beyond to be all they can be.

This scholarship was envisioned to uphold Debbie’s legacy by creating opportunities for individuals who are passionate about the advertising and marketing fields and entrepreneurship. Destiny Bell was awarded the
2019-2020 Rise Above Scholarship by the University of Louisville. She embodies this passion and drive to succeed, and a few weeks ago, we had the immense pleasure of talking to her about her life story, the scholarship, and her future.

Our conversation began with Bell detailing her first year at Campbellsville University, where she attended on an academic and athletic scholarship for track and field as a graphic design major. Unfortunately, she suffered
an injury that same year that caused a bulging disc and the end of her enrollment at the school. The injury meant she could no longer participate
in the sport, forcing her to make some tough decisions without a scholarship’s financial support. After much determination and difficult
conversations, she moved back to Louisville to be closer to her support network. She enrolled part-time at the University of Louisville as a business major. The shift in her interest to marketing also occurred during this transition while offering social media support for a small business owned
by the coach who had helped her obtain the track and field scholarship.

When she moved back to the city, she faced a heavy workload, with six to seven days a week working at both Olive Garden and UPS while maintaining perfect attendance in her classes. It was an impossible weight, but Bell persevered despite the constant reminder of her injury while spending 40+ hours per week on her feet. The part-time enrollment also took its own toll as she realized how long it would take her to complete her coursework in order to graduate. She was seeking guidance on what
to do about the difficulties she faced with her admissions counselor when she learned about the Rise Above Scholarship in the College of Business.

The application required an essay submission, which she quickly completed. Bell recalls that it felt like a lifetime waiting to hear back, but that when she received the email notification announcing that she had been awarded the scholarship, she couldn’t contain her excitement and was “literally jumping up and down.” The scholarship meant that she was
able to quit UPS and increase the number of courses she was enrolled in to finish her degree in 2020.

Quitting UPS meant that not only did she have more time to finish her coursework, but that she could also apply for marketing internships. As she was completing her coursework, Bell was offered a one-year internship at Berkshire Hathaway that introduced her to the world of real estate, which
is now something she is deeply passionate about.

Bell describes the scholarship and internship experience as being life-changing in that it opened up so many ideas about her future that she had never envisioned. At 22, she is currently pursuing her real estate license
(95% of her coursework is complete) and has a vision to develop Destiny Properties LLC, a “one-stop-shop” style agency that offers expertise in
lending, commercial and private real estate, property management and a closing office. Her future is one that encompasses a “let’s get you in the door” ethos in order to empower the Black community to increase property ownership. She also foresees her company as a space to offer female mentorship and accessibility for upward mobility.

We are honored to have had this conversation with Ms. Bell and are deeply inspired by her story. We are moved to continue our work in removing barriers and lifting up our community. We aspire to support other entrepreneurs in our community and encourage you to also spread the word about the Rise Above Scholarship to UofL students.

About The Rise Above Scholarship

The scholarship award is given annually to a one-time recipient and is awarded to an individual based upon financial need and merit. The donor has indicated a strong preference for the award to be made to a female student who provides evidence of leadership skills and professional potential. The successful applicant must provide an essay discussing goals and aspirations, both academically and professionally. Applicants must have demonstrated a strong and deepening educational interest in marketing, entrepreneurship, and/or advertising.