Day At The Track

Five to receive Allen J. Finkelson Scholarships

03:48 AM 27 Jun 2017 NZST
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Daniel Clein & Jessica Hallett.jpg

Coral Springs, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced five candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization

"There were eleven candidates that were eligible for the scholarships," said Thomas H. Hicks, who chairs the scholarship committee. "And our committee worked diligently in deciding who would be the winners. We are very pleased to have had so many applications this year and it was not easy making the final selections."

Two students, Daniel Clien and Jessica Hallet, will both receive scholarship checks for $750 each as the two top candidates. Students Amber Kelley, Paul Levia and Sarah Birkhold will each get $500.

Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. On average, there has been up to $3,000 awarded annually in scholarship money.

Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership.

Daniel Clein will start his freshman year this fall at the University of Central Florida with a goal of becoming a veterinarian. He is a graduate of Wellington High School with a GPA of 3.6, was in the Wellington HS Equine Pre-Vet Academy Magnet Program and participated in numerous community outreach programs, including creating a 501C3 not-for-profit charity.

Jessica Hallett will be a freshman at Nova Southeastern University. She is the daughter of trainers John & Michelle Hallett and has spent most of her life around harness racing. She graduated from Deerfield Beach High School with an impressive GPA average of 5.12, was a star athlete, volunteered in numerous community service activities and has been writing feature stories on harness racing for

Sarah Birkhold is from Sarasota and is a first year graduate student at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinarian Medicine. She has been an Allen J. Finkelson scholarship winner the past four years. Her GPA is 3.72 and she has been President of the Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen Society, Treasurer of Block & Bridle Group, a teaching assistant in Equine Management and did an internship at Firethorn Equine in Ohio. She is the daughter of FSBOA Director and horse owner, George Birkhold.

Amber Kelley is from North Lauderdale and is a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University and is majoring in Multi Media Journalism Studies. She has a GPA of 3.789 and was nominated for both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Society for Collegiate Leadership. She is also secretary of the Kiwanis Circle K International local chapter and is involved with a Mentoring Project.

Paul Levia hails from Pembroke Pines and is a junior at Florida International University and is majoring in Broadcast Media. He has a GPA of 3.875 and is an AP Scholar, National Honor Society since 2014 and is a volunteer at the Broward Public Library.

By Steve Wolf, for the Florida USHWA Chapter

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