Race For Education Awards $329,000 in Scholarships

The Race For Education has awarded more than $329,000 in scholarships to 27 students for use in the 2005/2006 academic year. This year's recipients--from 11 states around the country--were chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants.

The Race For Education offers two types of scholarships -- the Thoroughbred Scholarship and the Horsemen's Scholarship --both designed to enable students under the age of 25 to afford a college education.

The Horsemen's Scholarship is available to children of racing industry workers, including, but not limited to, foremen, grooms, hot walkers, assistant trainers, riders, and maintenance workers. Household income may not exceed $60,000 per year. This scholarship is open to any field of study and students are required to maintain 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

The Thoroughbred Scholarship is available to students wishing to pursue a racing-related career, such as veterinary medicine (with an equine emphasis), equine science, racetrack management, or equine business management. The scholarship is open to students from all walks of life, but household income may not exceed $60,000 per year. The 3.0 GPA requirement applies to this scholarship as well.

Scholarship recipients are as follows:

Horsemen's Scholars:

Note: * indicates students who plan to return to the industry upon completing their education.

Jose Caballos-Morfin, Florida – The son of a groom for Padua Stables, One of five siblings, three of whom are already in college, he is studying mathematics at Central Florida Community College and hopes to become a teacher.

Laura Emmanuel, Maryland – The daughter of Haitian-born hot walkers at Laurel Race Track, she will be studying physical therapy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with the ultimate goal of becoming a physical therapist for sports medicine.

Amanda Engram, Texas – The daughter of a Texas Thoroughbred trainer who is semi-retired due to severe arthritis, she plans to study biomedical engineering at Texas A&M, where she will be a freshman in the fall.

*Thomas Gonzales, New Mexico – The son of a trainer who has raced throughout the West and Southwest, he will be starting his freshman year at New Mexico State, where he will study animal science. His goal is to become a veterinarian, working with racehorses and eventually opening his own practice in his home community.

*Karen Hancock, Kentucky – The daughter of parents who own a Thoroughbred breeding farm, she received a scholarship last year for her final undergraduate year at the University of Kentucky and now has been accepted into Auburn's veterinary program.

Kristina Kenney, Arizona – The daughter of Myron Kumke of Kumke Racing Stables, based at Turf Paradise, she is completing her junior year at Glendale Community College, where she studies elementary education. She plans to transfer to Arizona State University in the fall to complete her elementary education degree.

*Lauren Dean Lamb, North Dakota – The son of a veterinarian for 24 years before his death, he would like to follow in his father's footsteps, and is currently completing his second year of veterinary school at Texas A&M. He plans to specialize in equine lameness, orthopedic surgery and reproduction.

*Elizabeth Lauer, Kentucky – The daughter of trainer Michael Lauer, she plans to study photojournalism at Western Kentucky University, with the ultimate goal of becoming a journalist working with racing industry publications.

Jennifer Lopez, New York – Her father works as a vanning agent for NYRA. Prior to that, he worked for Patrick J. Kelly for 18 years. She is completing her freshman year at Dartmouth College, where she studies geography and Latin American studies. She's leaning toward becoming an urban planner.

*Brooke Schafer, Kentucky – The daughter of a night watchman at Juddmonte Farms, she will be a freshman at the University of Kentucky. She plans to pursue a veterinary medicine degree and become an equine practitioner in the Bluegrass area.

*Jack Sisterson, Texas – His father was a flat and steeplechase trainer in England before moving to the United States. His took out his trainer's license in the states but now his involved is limited to breeding. He is an equine business major at the University of Louisville who hopes eventually to become a trainer.

Sommer Suarez, Kentucky – Her family involvement in the racing industry goes back three generations. Entering Eastern Kentucky University as a freshman this fall, she will be studying to become a police officer.

*Alycia Teller, Kentucky – Her father has passed away and her mother is a retired trainer. She plans to study equine science at Western Kentucky University, with the goal of becoming a trainer of both horses and horse owners.

Jazmin Torres, New York – Her parents are a hot walker and an assistant trainer for R.M. Hernandez Stable. She will be studying biology at Bennington College in Vermont and plans to go on to medical school.

Michelle Tubbs, Kentucky – Her father is a night watchman at Indian Creek Farm. She will be studying pediatric nursing or early childhood education at Lexington Community College.

Jaclyn Wasiluk, Florida – The daughter of trainers Peter and Sharyn Wasiluk, she is a sophomore at the University of Tampa. She is studying elementary education and is hoping to open a day care facility at Tampa Bay Downs one day.

Chelsea Welch, Kentucky – Her father was a jockey and is now an exercise rider, and her mother is a consultant in diagnostic ultrasound for horses. She plans to study organizational management at Midway College at night so she can work full time during the day.


Thoroughbred Scholars:

Amelia Baldree, Illinois – She attends the University of Louisville, where she majors in equine administration and minors in communications and marketing. A Kids to the Cup alumnus, she founded a Thoroughbred Racing Club at U. of L. and became the treasurer of the first women's polo team, the only collegiate team in the state. She also co-founded TurfAngels.com, a website that covers international horse racing through writing and photography.

Heidi Chapman, New York – One of six children, two of whom are already in college, she will be a freshman at Houghton College in western New York State, where she plans to study business management and equine studies. Her ultimate goal is to manage a stable in Kentucky.

Andrea Clark, Texas – A 5.08 student (on a 5.0 GPA scale), she will be a freshman at Texas A&M University in the fall, where she plans to study biomedical science. She intends to follow this up with veterinary school.

Daniel Paul Davis, Idaho – He is completing his freshman year at the College of Southern Idaho, where he plans to get an associate's degree in equine business management. His ultimate goal is either to move to Kentucky to work on a horse farm or to work with the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Management program.

Rebecca DeCillis, New York – Currently a sophomore at Rutgers University, where she studies animal science, she plans to go on to veterinary school and finally to a career researching serious equine conditions such as founder.

Megan Dispenza, California – A first-year veterinary medicine student at Western University of Health Sciences, she would like to become an equine practitioner specializing in preventative medicine.

Kimberly Kesty, Florida – As a freshman at the University of Florida this fall, she plans to study agricultural sciences with an equine option and a minor in occupational therapy. Upon graduation, she would like to provide riding therapy for the disabled. She would also like to start a horse rescue that rehabilitates and trains unwanted horses.

Melissa Murphy, Texas – She will be studying animal science/biomedical science at Texas A&M University this fall, with the goal of going on to veterinary school. As a practicing equine veterinarian, she hopes to specialize in equine sports medicine, podiatry, genetics or neurology.

Eric Westbrook, Florida – He is currently a freshman at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, studying agricultural communications and animal science. As an Eagle Scout and the first Floridian in 25 years to attain 4-H's fourth level of horsemanship, he intends to use his degree to work with groups such as 4-H and FFA to educate young people about horses and animal husbandry.

Jonathan Yardley, Massachusetts – He is currently in his third year at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, where he is ranked fourth out of 79 students. Upon his graduation, he plans to become an equine orthopedic surgeon and a researcher. His goal is to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries to horses on the racetrack.

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