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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

GEICO Scholar Award Recipient to Pursue Degree in Human Services Counseling

Charmaine Brawner's dream is to work for a nonprofit, making a difference in people's lives.

The Portsmouth resident will start pursuing that dream at Old Dominion University in August, after completing an associate degree from Tidewater Community College.

Brawner's studies in human services counseling will be aided by insurer GEICO and the Anchor Scholarship Foundation. She is the recipient of the 2013 GEICO Scholar Award. Brawner was notified of the national award, worth $2,000, in early July.

"I was very surprised and excited," said Brawner, 21. "I had actually applied before, but wasn't eligible because I wasn't attending a four-year college then. I didn't know if I would be accepted after applying a second time."

GEICO has been a named sponsor of the GEICO Scholar award since 2011 and has contributed to the Anchor Scholarship Foundation, which for the past 10 years has helped support active and retired members of the U.S. Navy's surface force and their family members as they pursue a degree.

"College debt can be crippling not only for this generation, but also for their parents that sign off on college loans," said Danielle Dawley, executive director of the Anchor Scholarship Foundation. "Scholarships, internships and work study programs are viable and critical options for this generation. GEICO's investment in scholarships directly benefits our Surface Navy families and, by extension, our country."

Brawner is daughter of Donnell Brawner, a retired chief boatswain's mate with the U.S. Navy.

The family has lived in Hampton Roads for several years, but Brawner also lived for a few years in Florida, where she participated in the Disney College Program. She's excited to start the fall semester at ODU.

"It's a big school, with lots of opportunities in and out of the classroom. I can't wait," Brawner said.

GEICO has served members of the U.S. military since the company's founding in 1936 and operates a dedicated Military Service Center in its Virginia Beach regional office, staffed by more than 120 veterans from all branches of the military. The center serves active-duty, guard, reserve and retired military personnel and their families with specialized insurance programs.

For more details about Anchor Scholarships, go to www.anchorscholarship.com. For additional information about GEICO and the military, visit GEICO's Military Program site.