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

September 18, 2019

The Florida Sheriffs Association, in an 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(s) 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 10 recipients. The 2019 recipients are:

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.

Madelyn Barron – University of Florida
Madelyn is the daughter of Stephen Barron, Manatee County Sergeant. Madelyn is studying finance at the University of Florida to work towards a career in Law Enforcement. Madelyn volunteered much of her time at five different organizations, including the Manatee County Crimes Against Children Unit. In addition to being captain of her swim team, she was also involved in the 4-H Club where she served as Historian and Secretary.

Reygan Carner – University of Central Florida
Reygan is the daughter of Carl Carner, Broward County 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 the National Honor Society, Student Government, Poetry Club, Broward College Brain Bowl, American Youth Football League and Church by the Glades.

Colby Smith – Florida Atlantic University
Colby is the son of Michelle Smith, Seminole County Sheriff’s Opioid Team. Colby will obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with the intention of pursuing a career in Law Enforcement. Colby says his love for law enforcement came from his parents. He wants a job filled with excitement and wishes to make the world a better place by serving his community. Colby has been involved in Student Government, Boy Scouts, his church youth group and many athletic teams.

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 will be attending 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.

Raechle Stronko – Seminole State College
Raechle is the daughter of Jo-An Eckstein, Seminole County Lieutenant. Raechle’s goal is to earn a degree in Political Science and pursue a legal career. Raechle was very active in school participating in varsity cheerleading and weightlifting, Student Government Association, the track and field team, and Pop Warner coaching. Additionally, she works for the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and volunteers at St. Stephen Catholic Church and Geneva Elementary Kids Zone.

Cheyanne Morris – Seminole State College
Cheyanne is the daughter of Valerie Morris, Seminole County Financial Analyst. Cheyanne has been extremely involved in the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Cadet and Explorer Program where she has been Corporal and Cadet of the Year. Cheyanne aims to obtain a degree in Environmental Science and Conservation Studies. She has decided to combine her passions for law enforcement and the environment by working to become a Game Warden with the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

George Pratt – Morehouse College
George Anthony Pratt is the son of George C Pratt, Duval County Chief. Throughout high school, George was extremely involved in both his school and community.  George was involved in 11 clubs, organizations and societies and served as Class President both his junior and senior year. As an avid volunteer in his community, he participated in nine volunteer experiences including a mission trip to the Bahamas and he completed five service projects. Overall, he has received 21 awards, including the United States Senate Youth Program Delegate and Bank of America Student Leader award. George will attend Morehouse College on the Pre-Law track.

Sandria Kaplan – Florida State University
Sandria is the daughter of Page Roberson Clark, Broward County Probation Officer. Sandria spent her summers completing internships for the Public Defender’s Office. While balancing school and work, she managed to find time to be a Campus Ministry leader, Captain of the State Volleyball Team and Co-President of C.A.R.E Club. Sandria will attend Florida State University where she plans to major in Criminal Justice and Minor in Psychology before moving on to attend law school. Sandria credits her work ethic to her mother.

Alex Vega II – John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Alex is the son of Alex Vega Sr., Orange County Deputy Sheriff. Alex plans to study Criminal justice to fulfill his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer for the New York Police Department. Alex serves his community through volunteer experiences including graffiti clean-ups in parks and storefronts, assisting senior citizens, tutoring children at the public library and volunteering at the National Night Out Against Crime. He is also extremely involved with the 50th Precinct’s Explorer Program where he currently serves as the acting platoon Sergeant. He is motivated by both his parents who both work in law enforcement.

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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 70,000 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.