Virginia Motorcoach Association Selects Estes-Counselman Scholarship Winners

Barrett Newton and her family

The Virginia Motorcoach Association (VMA) congratulates its 2023-2024 Estes-Counselman Scholarship Award Winners. They are Barrett Newton, Operator Category; and MaryBrian Pinckney, Associate Category.

The scholarships were created in honor of two very active and longtime VMA members: Gary Estes, a former owner of Cavalier Coaches; and Jim Counselman, the father of VMA Lifetime member Deb Ownings, formerly of Virginia Coach Company.  Counselman was a strong proponent of higher education even though he didn’t personally get the opportunity. When Ownings was an active member of the VMA Board, she took over the chair of the Scholarship Committee and grew it to what it is today.

The VMA Estes-Counselman Scholarship Program awards scholarships to college-bound high school seniors or students currently in a higher education school, trade, or professional program. Scholarship is based on demonstrated academic achievement, extracurricular and community activity provided, and future career interest. Eligible for these awards are full-time employees, or the dependent children of full-time employees, of a VMA member. Two annual scholarships are awarded; one for VMA Operator Members and one for VMA Associate Members.

Newton is an employee of VMA Operator Member Newton’s Bus Service. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at Randolph University in 2016. After graduating, she worked providing intensive in-school therapy for students struggling with emotional and behavioral disabilities. This furthered her passion for working with students and their families while supporting both their academic and mental health needs. She has gone on to continue her education as a graduate student at Liberty University in the field of special education. While a student at Liberty University, she was inducted into the International Education Honor Society for her outstanding academic work and high grade point average in 2021.

In 2022, Newton and her husband welcomed their first child, Will Raines. During this time, she began working full-time for her family’s motorcoach business, Newton’s Bus Service Inc., while also continuing her studies. Newton continues to blend her passion for helping others and her family’s business through her work with the Gloucester Salvation Army. In December, she facilitated the first of many Newton’s Bus Service’s “Stuff the Bus” toy and clothing drive. All the items donated went to support local families during the holiday season. Newton wishes to continue the relationship between Newton’s Bus Service and the Salvation Army to give back to the community that has given their business so much over the years.

MaryBrian Pinckney

Newton expects her post-college career to include working within the family business, a third-generation company, while also engaging in special education work with virtual teaching.

Pinckney is the dependent of VMA Associate Member ABC Companies’ employee, Brian Pinckney. She is currently a student at Florida State University studying finance and real estate, which she hopes to pursue once she graduates. She is also involved in her sorority, Tri Delta, serving as the Director of Facility Operations for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

Pinckney expressed to the scholarship committee her love for real estate, and how she hopes to complete an internship in the field the summer before her senior year. She is currently taking classes pertaining to both real estate and finance and thoroughly enjoying it. Excelling in school has always been important to her, and she intends on continuing to make the dean’s list every semester.

Receiving the position of Director of Facility Operations, better known as “House Manager,” was exciting to Pinckney due to the fact that it ties in two things that she loves; her sorority and houses. The opportunity allows her to oversee all operations within the house, from maintenance, repairs, and events, to the women who live in it. She also plans on applying for more leadership positions within her sorority in the coming years, enjoying the responsibility and commitment.

Pinckney wants to thank the Virginia Motorcoach Association for the honor of receiving the scholarship that will help make it possible to reach her goals.

Applications for the 2024 program will be available for download starting Nov. 1, 2023, with nominations being accepted starting Jan. 1, 2024. The winners will be notified and presented their awards in July 2024. For more information, visit www.vamotorcoach.com/scholarship.

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