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GCF Scholarship Program Alumni Spotlight

October 23, 2019

Harrison Brown_PhotoIn our recent interview with Thomas G. Harris Scholarship recipient, Harrison Brown, he recalled his desire to obtain stability and security as his family struggled following his parents’ divorce, which forced his mother to become the sole provider for her three children.

Harrison tore his ACL playing soccer at Armuchee High School, placing an even greater financial burden upon his mother. He knew this could compromise his dream of attending the University of Georgia, but he did not want to give up just yet.

Harrison spent his senior year rehabilitating his knee and working any jobs he could to save money for college. He was accepted into his dream school. Additionally, he applied for and was selected to receive the Thomas G. Harris Scholarship. “It became the biggest blessing of my life,” he said. “I didn't know it at the time, but it eliminated the need for student loans and allowed me the opportunity to really explore what I wanted to do with my life.”

Harrison initially pursued a degree at UGA that would allow him to become a Physician’s Assistant, thinking that this would provide job security and financial stability, aspects of his life he felt were missing.

But, the T.G. Harris Scholarship provided the opportunity for Harrison to reevaluate what was truly important to him. “I had the chance to think more about what I really wanted. I wanted more than money. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people like me, people that had had similar experiences,” he said. “I felt like I was being called to something else, something more. That’s when I decided to pursue a degree in psychology to become a counselor.”

Harrison graduated from UGA in May 2019, after having married the August before. He and his wife, Kaylan, left Athens for Chattanooga so that Harrison could begin his graduate studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Richmont Graduate University. Richmont is a faith-based graduate school that provides master’s level degrees in counseling and ministry and, as Harrison put it, is a perfect fit for him.

He brought with him an impressive resume. During his time at UGA, he gained practical experience working with those affected by addiction, PTSD, and trauma, as well as families and married couples seeking guidance.

Harrison has already achieved so much and served so many. He refers back to the scholarship saying, “I had the freedom to pursue what I was called to and most interested in. I never had to make decisions based on financial outcomes and didn’t have the burden of debt or wondering how I was going to pay it all off. I didn’t know how valuable it was at the time. Thank you is not enough. I thank God every day. It changed my life.”

When asked where he sees his future Harrison said, “I want to be a marriage counselor. There are so few men working in marriage and family therapy, and there need to be more. I would like to work with my wife to provide retreats and counseling sessions to couple to support and build healthy marriages and families. For myself, I want to work to be a good husband and a good dad someday.”

We couldn’t be prouder of Harrison’s accomplishments and look forward to all that his future holds. It is evident that, as a servant leader, Harrison will achieve all to which he has been called.