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Florida Sheriffs Association Continues Investing in Florida’s Youth by Awarding 14 STEM Scholarships

May 22, 2024

The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) invests in the state of Florida each year by encouraging and rewarding bright, hard-working students whose parents work in a Florida sheriff’s office. This year, the FSA has awarded a STEM Scholarship to 14 high-achieving students who are pursuing a career in a STEM-related field (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math).

“Supporting Florida’s youth has always been a priority of the Florida Sheriffs Association, and through scholarships like these, we can help advance the future of law enforcement,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, President of the FSA. “STEM careers aren’t just about equations and algorithms, they’re about shaping the future, solving problems, and safeguarding our communities. Embracing STEM isn’t just a choice, it’s imperative for progress and prosperity in our society.” 

To be considered for the FSA STEM Scholarship, the student must have a legal guardian that is a full-time employee of a sheriff’s office. The students also must submit a five-page application and an essay on why they are passionate about studying their STEM-related field. The applications and essays were reviewed by a committee of representatives from the Florida Sheriffs Association whose members selected this year’s recipients. The 2024 FSA STEM Scholarship recipients include: 

Malachi Maldonado

Malachi Maldonado
Son of Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Swadkins. Malachi plans to attend medical school. Upon graduation, he would like to work as a forensic pathologist and eventually become a licensed medical examiner.

Emma Renee Koehler
Daughter of Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Joseph Koehler. Emma is working to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and plans to continue her education by earning a master’s degree. She would ultimately like to work on the research and development side of biomedical engineering to directly impact medicine and healthcare.

Michael Ryan Harrington
Son of Broward County Sheriff’s Office District Chief Gary Harrington. Michael is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, with a specialty in Circuit Technology and Robotics and Autonomous Systems. He then plans to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering. His goal is to work at a medical technology company, defense contractor, government agency or NASA.

Kaitlyn Rae Malott
Daughter of Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Records Clerk Kimberly Malott. Kaitlyn is attending the University of North Florida with plans to earn a degree in Biology. She would ultimately like to become a veterinarian and work with livestock.

Andre Bryce Barrett
Son of Broward County Sheriff’s Office Systems Technician Andre Barrett. Andre is attending Florida Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering. He would like to earn a professional engineer designation and work on hardware and product design for a tech company.

Katherine Eileen Doyle
Daughter of Orange County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Donald Doyle. Katherine plans to attend the University of Central Florida and graduate with a double major in Computer and Electrical Engineering, and then earn a master’s degree in computer engineering. Her goal is to work in control systems engineering or automation.

Jacob Aaron Waller
Son of Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Robert Waller. Jacob plans to attend State College of Florida to obtain general education requirements, then transfer to Embry-Riddle University to complete his degree in aeronautical engineering. His goal is to work for Lockheed Martin after graduating.

Hailey Reece Shelly
Daughter of Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Mark Shelly. Hailey is dual enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University with plans to attend Stetson University in the fall. She will pursue a degree in pre-veterinary medicine and a minor in business and would like to open her own veterinary clinic one day.

Raquel Beatriz Rossman
Daughter of Broward County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Richard Rossman. Raquel is attending Nova Southeastern University currently majoring in osteopathic medicine. She plans to graduate from the Osteopathic Medical School and perhaps specialize in emergency medicine. She is also interested in teaching future doctors.

Alexis Puga
Daughter of Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Sergeant Anna Ferguson. Alexis plans to attend Hillsborough Community College to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Upon graduation, she wants to complete a Nurse Practitioner program and apply to be a travel nurse.

Adriyanna Natelia James
Daughter of Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Anthony James. Adriyanna is attending Eckerd College pursuing a degree in psychology and plans to work in forensic psychology.

Kasey Loraine Miller
Daughter of Polk County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Supervisor Michelle Miller and School Resource Officer Jason Miller. Kasey is attending the University of Central Florida where she is majoring in Biology/Zoology. She is considering also obtaining a master’s degree with a focus on primate biology and behavior. She would like to become a leading researcher in the field of primatology.

Yassine Hamliche
Son of Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detention Support Specialist Aziz Hamliche. Yassine plans to attend Polk State College and earn an Associate of Science in Nursing, concurrently working towards obtaining his license as a registered nurse. He would like to earn a bachelor and Master of Science degree in nursing with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Ashlynd Ivy Westfall
Daughter of Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Eric Westfall. Ashlynd is attending Lynn University and pursuing a degree in Psychology. She plans to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and ultimately obtain a Ph.D. in forensic psychology. She would like to work in the criminal justice field, hopefully with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.


Florida Sheriffs Association:
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,000 business leaders and 100,000 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. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit