Bonilla and Hallett to receive Florida scholarships

Pompano Beach, FL — The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced two candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship.

The scholarship 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.

“Micaela Bonilla and Jessica Hallett will each receive $500 from our Chapter,” said committee chair Thomas H. Hicks. “Micaela is a senior at the University of Central Florida with a GPA of 4.0. She is a pre-veterinary science major, and Jessica is a college senior at Nova Southeastern University with a 3.33 GPA as a medical biology major. They are both outstanding students.”

Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. 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.

Micaela Bonilla. Cristina Savinon photo.

This year both scholarships were generously donated by Maggie Sinclair and Jay Farrar of Winter Park and Kathleen and Thomas Hicks of Margate.

Micaela Bonilla of Orlando is an upcoming senior at UCF going for her Bachelor’s degree in biology. She then hopes to get into a university for her doctorate in veterinary medicine.

She is on the Dean’s List and on Honor Society for Phi Kappa Phi. She also volunteers at a local animal shelter and is a certified veterinarian technician, working part-time. She hopes to work as a veterinarian with horses.

Jessica Hallett of Margate has extensive leadership experience that includes President’s 64 at NSU, Emergency Medical Technology Class Leader, NSU Dual Degree, United States Trotting Association Youth Delegate Executive Board and the NSU Hunt-Seat Equestrian Team.

Jessica Hallett. Photo courtesy of Florida Chapter USHWA.

In addition to her studies this past year, she also received training in TSA Canine Decov, Naloxone (Narcan) Administration, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Active Shooter Training and NSU Colleges of Allopathic and Osteopathic Professionalism.

For more information about the Florida Chapter of USHWA and the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship, visit or go to their Facebook page at Florida Chapter USHWA.

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