Posted on June 28, 2023

Corrections Foundation Announces 2023 Louie L. Wainwright Scholarship Recipients

The Corrections Foundation’s Board of Directors met on June 8th and selected nine winners for the 2023 Louie L. Wainwright Scholarship.

The winners are:

  • Central Office: Hashim Muhammad
  • Region 1 – Institutions: Chandler Young
  • Region 2 – Institutions: Ebone Youngblood
  • Region 3 – Institutions: Lisa Coleman
  • Region 4 – Institutions: Takia Ragin
  • Region 1 – Community Corrections: Jessica Walden
  • Region 2 – Community Corrections: Alexis Owens
  • Region 3  – Community Corrections: Richard Comfort
  • Region 4  – Community Corrections: Kristen McGrath

Each winner was awarded $1,000, which was sent to their respective schools in their names.

“It is truly admirable to witness FDC staff devote themselves to furthering their education while holding full-time jobs. This level of dedication is a testament to their unwavering commitment to professional growth and leadership potential within the Agency, said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon. “I wish all those starting their upcoming semester the best of luck and encourage others to follow their lead and take advantage of this amazing scholarship opportunity.”

Corrections Foundation Board President Brian Wynns said, “these individuals are dedicated to their education, their careers in the Florida Department of Corrections, and their service to the state of Florida. We had many good applications and the board had a difficult job in choosing the winners.”

Mr. Hashim Muhammad of Central Office said, "I'm really happy that I had the chance to express my gratitude to the FDC through this scholarship."

Ms. Ebone Younblood of Region 2 Institutions stated, “It means a lot to know that the Department of Corrections offer so many opportunities for employees to enhance their education to provide a positive impact within one's community. Winning this scholarship not only motivated me to finish college, but it has also encouraged me to start writing again.”

Ms. Kristen McGrath of Region 4 Community Corrections added, “It is truly an honor to be accepting this scholarship. This scholarship money is going towards me being able to further my education in the criminal justice field.”

The Louie L. Wainwright Scholarship criteria is: an individual who currently is an employee or contractor with FDC, who is attending a post-secondary school, who has a 2.5 GPA, and an essay with a minimum of 1,000 words on “Why I’m Interested in a Career in Corrections”. Applications were then judged by the Corrections Foundation’s Board of Directors and winners determined.

Louie Wainwright was the acknowledged Dean of American Correctional Administrators and served as Secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections for 25 years. He received the American Correctional Association's highest tribute, the E.R. Cass Award for outstanding service. His efforts in support of accreditation in Florida and nationwide earned him the 1986 Accreditation Achievement Award from the Commission of Accreditation for Corrections. Mr. Wainwright was appointed to the Corrections Foundation Board in 2001 and re-appointed as President for consecutive terms until his passing on December 23, 2021.

The Corrections Foundation serves as a 501(c)3 non-profit Direct Support Organization for the FDC, supporting its programs and personnel.

The 2024 Louie L. Wainwright Scholarship application period will open on January 1, 2024, when nine winners will again be determined.

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