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Virginia Motorcoach Association Estes-Counselman
Scholarship PrograM

2024 Scholarship Timeline

  • November 1, 2023 - 2024 Scholarship Application becomes available for download on VMA website.
  • January 1, 2024 - Scholarship Program opens to receive applications.
  • April 15, 2024 - Application period closes. All scholarship applications are due by 11:59 p.m.
  • July 1, 2024 - Scholarship committee will choose awardees and notify them by phone within the following week.

Rules

Virginia Motorcoach Association (VMA) Scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $750 each in the year 2024. Eligible for these awards are full-time employees, or the dependent children of full-time employees, of VMA Operator (both Tour and Motorcoach) Member companies and of VMA Associate Member companies. The award will go to applicants which best meet the requirements set forth by the Scholarship Committee. Two annual scholarships will be awarded: one for VMA Operator Members of either type (Tour or Motorcoach) and one for VMA Associate Members. Award eligibility for VMA Associate Members is limited to only the actual individual contact member(s), or their family members, actively listed with and having a direct interest in the VMA, as opposed to all employees within the Associate organization.

The Scholarship Committee will be authorized to review the applications blindly, i.e., without identifying data, and make the selections. The Scholarship Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors and will serve at the discretion of the Board. The Committee Chair, Alice Lemon, will be the point-of-contact for all pre-submission inquiries.

Download Rules

Scoring

All applications will be sent, sealed, to a staff member who will redact all identifying information on the application, from questions 2 – 10 plus signature. Transcripts will also be redacted of personally identify data. The staff member will then return the redacted applications, identified by an application number only, to the judges for scoring.

Judges are selected by the board of directors, namely as the scholarship committee members and the executive director team, totaling six judges.

Scoring will be based on a point system as follows:

One point will be awarded per each 1/10th of GPA scored above 3.0. Where applicable, applicant should submit GPA using a weighted scale. GPA scores with scores in the 1/100ths may be rounded to the nearest 1/10th. (Example: 3.42 GPA would be rounded down to 3.40, while 3.46 GPA may be rounded up to 3.5. The point value would be valued at five points for the 3.4 score, or six points for the 3.5 score.) Student should present actual GPA, and the committee will round the scores appropriately.

The scale below demonstrates the point value of student’s scores:

  Unweighted Points Weighted Points
A+ 4.3 14 5.3 24
A 4.2 13 5.2 23
A 4.1 12 5.1 22
A 4.0 11 5.0 21
A- 3.9 10 4.9 20
A- 3.8 9 4.8 19
A- 3.7 8 4.7 18
B+ 3.6 7 4.6 17
B+ 3.5 6 4.5 16
B+ 3.4 5 4.4 15
B+ 3.3 4 4.3 14
B 3.2 3 4.2 13
B 3.1 2 4.1 12
B 3.0 1 4.0 11
B- 2.9 0 3.9 10
B- 2.8 0 3.8 9
B- 2.7 0 3.7 8
C+ 2.6 0 3.6 7
C+ 2.5 0 3.5 6
C+ 2.4 0 3.4 5
C+ 2.3 0 3.3 4
C 2.2 0 3.2 3
C 2.1 0 3.1 2
C 2.0 0 3.0 1
C- 1.9 0 2.9 0
C- 1.8 0 2.8 0
C- 1.7 0 2.7 0
D+ 1.3 0 2.3 0
D 1.0 0 2.0 0
F 0 0 0 0

(Source: Crimson Education GPA Calculator – (https://www.crimsoneducation.org/us/blog/test-prep/unweighted-vs-weighted-gpa/)

One point per applicant will be awarded for each qualifying extracurricular and community activity provided, per year participated during applicant’s high school or higher education school (as applicable) attendance period. Qualifying activities will be determined by judges based on actual separate activities.

Essay questions are subjective to the reader. Therefore, each essay question (degree plan and why, goals and objectives, and career plans) will be graded on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being least, 5 being most) by each judge based on their opinion on the thoughtfulness and comprehensiveness of each response, and the judges’ scores will be averaged for a total average point value per essay question, per applicant. A maximum of 2,500 characters will be permitted per essay question.

Download Scoring Details

Criteria for Eligibility

Those eligible to apply must:

  • Have been employed by VMA member organization for a minimum of one year by January 1 in the year in which the scholarships are awarded.
  • Already be registered to a full-time college, professional school, or trade school in the previous fall or at the time of application.
  • Hold a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or if a professional or trade school, the equivalent of a B grade.
  • The winners, or the parents of the winners, must still be employed at the member's company at the time the winners are selected.
  • Candidates are eligible to apply for and be awarded this scholarship for no more than two consecutive years. After the second consecutive year, whether or not the candidate is awarded this scholarship, they are not eligible to apply again for a period of one year.

(NOTE: Dependent applicants that will be first year higher education students may apply. Enrollment will need to be validated before the award is given and final high school GPA will be requested.)

Application & Selection Timeframe

  • Applications must be typed for legibility. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.
  • Applicant must include proof of eligibility (i.e., high school transcripts, or most recent higher education transcripts if a returning higher education student) as well as proof of registration for the coming semester to the institution where accepted.
  • The Scholarship Committee will consider applications received between January 1, 2024 and April 15, 2024.
  • Sealed applications will be forwarded to a non-voting administrator, where they will be kept confidential and redacted by that administrator.
  • Applications will be blindly reviewed by the Scholarship Committee and the final awards will be determined by point system.
  • Winners will be notified on or within five business days of July 1, 2024.

Purpose

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. Two annual scholarships will be awarded, one for VMA Operator Members of either type (Tour or Motorcoach) and one for VMA Associate Members. The award will go to applicants which best meet the requirements set forth by the Scholarship Committee.

Criteria

Eligible for these awards are full-time employees, or the dependent children of full-time employees, of VMA Operator (both Tour and Motorcoach) Member companies and of VMA Associate Member companies. Award eligibility for VMA Associate Members is limited to only the actual individual contact member(s), and their dependent family members, actively listed with and having a direct interest in the VMA, as opposed to all employees within the Associate organization. Candidates are eligible to apply for and be awarded this scholarship for no more than two consecutive years. After the second consecutive year, whether or not the candidate is awarded this scholarship, they are not eligible to apply again for a period of one year.

Guidelines

Scholarships will be awarded on an annual basis. Scholarship Committee will be authorized to review the applications blindly, i.e., without identifying data, and make the selections. The Scholarship Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors and will serve at the discretion of the Board. Alice Lemon, will be the point-of-contact for all pre-submission inquiries. Scholarship award will be announced July 1st.

Download Guidelines

Amount

Each scholarship will be awarded annually to one VMA Operator Member of either type (Tour or Motorcoach) and one VMA Associate Member, as indicated in section 2. The amount of each scholarship will be determined annually by the Scholarship Committee with the approval of the VMA Board of Directors. Dollar amount will be based on VMA financial status and should be included in the following year’s budget.

Application Submission and Deadline

Applications will be accepted starting on January 1st and will close on April 15th.

Download Application

Please mail or email completed applications to:

Scholarship Committee - Confidential
c/o VB Group Marketing & Event Resources
Virginia Motorcoach Association
P O Box 344, Palatine, IL 60056
Phone: 224-402-1534
Email: alice@vbgmarketing.com

Application form will be located on the www.vamotorcoach.com, Scholarship Program as of November 1 of the preceding year.

Collection and Distribution of Applications

Applications are to be mailed directly to the VMA, to be forwarded, SEALED, to an assigned reviewer. Alternatively, applications may be emailed directly to the assigned reviewer. The reviewer will process each application as indicated below. This process should be completed within five working days of April 15th.

Reviewer will:

  1. Collect all applications and review for completion.
  2. Separate Operator and Associate applications.
  3. Save applications to an unshared file.
  4. Mark each application with a random identifier.
  5. Create a log associating random identifiers with applicant names and personal information (accessible to reviewer only)
  6. Redact all traces of applicant’s name and personal information.
  7. Set up meeting with committee to review scorecard prior to sending out applications for scoring. This gives the judges an opportunity to review the scoring process on a sample basis and identify any clarifications that might be needed during the scoring process.
  8. Update reviewing scorecard, if needed.
  9. Provide committee with redacted applications and scorecard within five working days after closing date of April 15th.

Application Judging Process

Scholarship Committee will review the applications blindly, i.e., without identifying data, and make the selections.

  1. Once application and scorecards have been sent, judges will have until June 1st to complete the judging process.
  2. Completed scorecards will be provided to assigned reviewer to audit and tally scores.
  3. Reviewer will call a meeting of the Committee to review final tally and determine the winner within five business days. “Question” section on scoring card should be discussed if judges scores do not match. “Essay” scores to be discussed if we have “tie” for winner.
  4. Reviewer will complete employment and transcript verification on the proposed winner(s).

Announcement Process

Scholarship award winners will be notified on July 1st or within five business days thereafter.

  • Winner will receive a phone call from the Committee Chair.
  • Winner will provide a picture and biographical paragraph which will be included in VMA media.
  • Winner will be mailed the check within five business days of the actual award.
  • Winner will be mailed VMA certificate and Letter from the VMA President separately from the award check.

Promoting Scholarship

The following year’s Scholarship program will be promoted at:

  • VMA Annual Convention in August
  • VMA Operator Retreat and Group Travel Expo in December

Announcements/Reminders for scholarship program and associated deadlines will be promoted on:

  • VMA website
  • Email Campaign to members and potential members
  • All VMA social media channels

Downloadables

2023 Winners

The Virginia Motorcoach Association congratulates our 2023 Estes-Counselman Scholarship Award Winners, Barrett Newton, Operator Category, and MaryBrian Pinckney, Associate Category.

Barrett is an employee of VMA Operator Member Newton's Bus Service.

Barrett 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, Barrett and her husband welcomed their first child, Will Raines. During this time, she began working full-time for her family’s motor coach business, Newton’s Bus Service Inc., while also continuing her studies. Barrett 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 “Stuff the Bus” toy and clothing drive. All the items donated went to support local families during the holiday season. Barrett 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.

Barrett expects her post-college career to include working within the family business while also engaging in special education work with virtual teaching. Newton’s Bus Service is a third-generation family business, and she plans to continue to work full-time as well as working to provide educational services to students who may not have access to in-person learning through virtual teaching.

MaryBrian 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.

MaryBrian 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 so exciting to MaryBrian 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 that live in it. She also plans on applying for more leadership positions within her sorority in the coming years, enjoying the responsibility and commitment that comes with it. With the support of her friends and family, she is confident that she can take her plans and goals and turn them into her reality.

MaryBrian wants to thank the Virginia Motorcoach Association for the honor of receiving the scholarship that will help make it possible to reach these goals and others like it.


Congratulations, Barrett and MaryBrian. The VMA wishes you both a very successful future.

 

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