Ahna Sweeney, an intensely focused 19-year-old from Virginia Beach, started classes last week at Tidewater Community College.
Neither she nor her family will have to pay a cent this year. Ahna's benefactor: her father's employer.
The McHenry Management Group, a Chesapeake-based engineering firm where John Sweeney has worked since 2007, recently awarded his daughter a $5,000 scholarship.
McHenry is giving $45,000 in scholarships to 17 children of employees - representing one-tenth of its workforce of 175 - in the coming year, said Shane Dowling, the chief operating officer.