As a young child, Brenda Oppel knew she wanted to grow up to do great things. Coming from a strong military family, she wanted to continue that legacy. Choosing to follow through the college AFROTC route for commissioning, Oppel received a scholarship for Aviation Computer Science in the College of Engineering. It was at the AFROTC Detachment, that Oppel had her first experience with positive female leadership. Detachment Commander, Col McKelvy was an impactful role-model for Oppel and showed her how to be a mentor and leader to younger Airmen.