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Scholarship Winners Announced In NY

Published: June 29, 2015 5:00 pm ET

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Bob MacDougall, chairman of the co-sponsored SOA of New York/Yonkers Raceway Scholarship Committee, has announced that Adam T. Michael is the winner of the 2015-2016 Scholarship Award in the amount of $5,000, Jessica De Witt is the winner of the second place $3,000 award and Charlene Cushing is the winner of the third place $2,000 award.

Adam T. Michael is currently enrolled at Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey where he is working on achieving his Master’s Degree to further his music education, enabling him to continue teaching music to high-needs students in the inner-city of Passaic, New Jersey. Michael has worked tirelessly to do this special work, while also balancing his time in the world of harness racing, as a proud Standardbred owner.

Jessica De Witt is currently enrolled at the University of Connecticut, where she is studying to be a Children's Physician’s Assistant. She has been an exceptional student in high school and college as a member of the Honor Society and Deans List. Her passion is horses. Jessica is truly happy about the opportunities she had by being born into the racing business and spending so much of her life in the barn or the tracks. She plans to use the work hard ethic she has learned being around the race industry and to apply that in her future endeavors. Jessica is the daughter of Jackie Rousse, Hudson Falls, New York.

Charlene Cushing has been involved in the harness racing industry for over 25 years, which began as a teenager growing up in Monticello, New York. She was a Marshall for 15 years, and then attained her trainer/driver license in 1990. In 2007 her driving success earned her the MHHA Rising Star award. A few years ago, her husband became disabled and as a result of caring for him, she realized that she had a desire to help others in a different profession, so she enrolled in college classes to become a nurse. Charlene is currently enrolled at Central Maine College of Health Professionals, and looks forward to becoming an RN in May of 2016. Her husband is Michael Cushing of Farmington, Maine.

“The scholarship records of these three winners, along with their participation in extracurricular activities were excellent,” noted MacDougall. “They should serve as examples for all high school and college students to follow. The committee wishes all of the applicants the very best as they continue on with their education”.

The annual SOA/Yonkers Raceway scholarships are awarded to SOA members, or members of their immediate families, or to covered individuals (backstretch personnel) or a member of their immediate families, for study beyond the high school level. The recipient is chosen on the basis of merit and financial need.

The winners and their families will be acknowledged one night at Yonkers Raceway this summer.


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