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Florida Sheriffs Association Awards Scholarships to Students Studying Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

July 06, 2020

The Florida Sheriffs Association, in annual tradition, has awarded scholarships to hardworking students studying toward a career in law enforcement, corrections or another criminal justice field. These students look to follow in the footsteps of their parents as they are sons and daughters of employees working full-time for a Florida Sheriff’s office. To be considered for the scholarship, students submitted a five-page application and essay on how their parent motivated them to choose law enforcement. The applications and essays were reviewed by a committee of representatives from the Florida Sheriffs Association whose members selected the 11 recipients. The 2020 recipients are:

Kaitlin Bernabe

Kaitlin Bernabe – University of Florida
Kaitlin is the daughter of Miami-Dade Police Department Sergeant Sheri Bedal- Bernabe. Her goal is to earn a degree in sociology and criminology and become a police officer. Keeping up with traditions is not her biggest reason for wanting a job in law enforcement, it is the responsibility of protecting others.

Chase Binkley

Chase Binkley – Florida State University
Chase is the son of Matthew Binkley, Deputy with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Chase is studying for a degree in Criminology. He has attended the Junior Law Enforcement Academy summer program, and had a fantastic experience learning the duties, responsibilities and experiences of law enforcement and corrections. Chase previously won the 2019 Florida Association of School Resource Officers Scholarship and the Peace River Conference Pop Warner College Scholarship.

Reygan Carner

Reygan Carner – University of Central Florida
Reygan is the daughter of Carl Carner, Broward County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Mechanic. Reygan will earn her degree in Forensic Science to ultimately pursue a degree in Law Enforcement. As a marine and aviation mechanic, her father inspired her career path. While she knew the military was not for her, Reygan found another way to serve her country. Reygan is very active in her school’s extracurricular activities and served leadership roles in National Honor Society, Student Government, Poetry Club, Broward College Brain Bowl, American Youth Football League and Church by the Glades.

Matthew Daniel Coleman

Matthew Daniel Coleman – Florida International University
Matthew is the son of Kevin Coleman, Broward County Deputy Sheriff. Matthew says having both parents work in law enforcement taught him the importance of doing the right thing. He is working towards a career in Computer Forensics. In high school, Matthew volunteered as a manager for the Police Athletic League and was involved in DECA, Key Club and Programming Club.

Sarah Coleman

Sarah Coleman – University of Miami School of Law
Sarah is the daughter of Kevin Coleman, Broward County Deputy Sheriff. Sarah majored in both Criminology and Political Science at the University of Florida and is attending the University of Miami School of Law with the intention of pursuing a career at the State Attorney’s Office. Sarah has achieved many accomplishments, such as University of Florida’s Dean’s list, College Board AP Scholar Award, Pre-Legal Honor Society, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Cody Deloney

Cody Deloney – Indian River State College
Cody is the son of Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Captain Scott Deloney. His goal is to earn an associate degree in science agriculture with an intended career path in animal science. Kody would like to focus his career on animal control, which has been a branch of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office for several years now.

Zachary Godwin

Zachary Godwin – Tallahassee Community College
Zachary is the son of Leon County Sheriff’s Office Detective Michael Godwin. Zachary participated as an explorer in the Florida Sheriff’s Explorers Association. His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. To Zachary, it is more than just carrying a gun or looking “cool” it is about sacrifice and being able to protect others. He hopes to get the opportunity to run for sheriff one day, in whatever county he works for.

Isabel Huerta

Isabel Huerta – University of South Florida
Isabel is the daughter of Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Ginger Krieps Staff Accountant. Her goal is to earn a degree in biomedical engineering. Isabel would like to design machines that could be used to help medical professionals and even forensic scientists. This could help keep communities safe even if it is through laboratory work.

Alyssa McDonald

Alyssa McDonald – University of Central Florida
Alyssa is the daughter of George McDonald, Bureau Chief with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. She has been active with Pasco Sheriff’s Office Charities, Best Buddies as well as Relay for Life. Alyssa was also instrumental in working with the Florida Institute for Research, Security and Tactics to bring a Forensics Administrator to her senior class to provide a valuable presentation to her class. Alyssa now plans to study forensic science at the University of Central Florida.

Joseph Mitchell

Joseph Mitchell – Stetson University
Joseph is the son of Joe Mitchell, a corrections sergeant with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Joseph is a member of the National Honor Society and was active in numerous sports in high school. His father is his moral beacon and has learned many valuable life lessons. Joseph looks forward to following in his footsteps by having a successful career in law enforcement.

Jessica Weatherman

Jessica Weatherman – University of South Florida
Jessica is the daughter of Wade Weatherman, Case Manager with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Jessica will be attending the University of South Florida where she will be studying for a master’s degree in criminal justice administration. Both her parents worked for the sheriff’s office and are very proud of her law enforcement career choice. Jessica’s mother passed away in 2009, but she knows that her mother and father are proud of her law enforcement career choice and Jessica’s desire to help her community.


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Florida Sheriffs Association:
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 90,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation.