The Broward County PBA Scholarship Committee is no longer accepting applications for our 2022 college scholarship fund. Please check back in February for instructions on how to apply for our 2023 scholarship fund. Thank you and good luck to all of those who applied. Your applications have been forwarded to our scholarship committee for review.

2022 Scholarship Winners

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (BCPBA) presented awards to the winners of its annual college scholarship essay contest at its quarterly Board of Directors’ meeting held on September 1, 2022.

The organization also announced that its first-place scholarship award will be re-named the “Sergeant Christopher Reyka Scholarship Award” in honor of Sgt. Christopher Reyka of the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Reyka was shot and killed outside a Pompano Beach drug store early on the morning of August 10, 2007, while checking license plates for possible stolen vehicles. Throughout his 18-year law enforcement career, Sgt. Reyka was highly praised by his superiors and peers for his steadfast dedication, keen eye and reliability. In October, 2001, and again in April, 2007, he was honored as BSO’s Employee of the Month. He worked in various areas, including road patrol, the Selective Enforcement Team, Criminal Investigations and auto crimes in Pompano Beach, and was an avid participant in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year were awarded to eight students of the organization’s law enforcement members. The essay topic for the applicants was, “At some point, everyone feels stressed. But for law enforcement officers who are in positions of authority and must make life and death decisions on a regular basis, job-related stress can have a negative impact, not only in their professional lives, but their personal lives as well. One of the biggest problems for police officers is that stress can go unrecognized, unacknowledged, and even denied, for fear of being viewed as weak or not being able to handle their job. If you were the head of an agency, what steps would you take to eliminate the stigma of seeking treatment for mental health issues to make sure your officers are properly taking care of their mental well-being?”

This year’s winner of the Inaugural Sgt. Christopher Reyka Scholarship Award is Lauren Leonard of Coconut Creek. Lauren’s award will be applied toward her education at Nova Southeastern University.

The second-place winner is Sophie Danner of Pembroke Pines. Sophie’s award will be applied toward her education at the University of Central Florida. Ashley Davis of Coral Springs is our third-place winner, and she attends Spalding University, while Xerian Ximinies of Miramar is our fourth-place winner, and he attends Florida A&M University. Our honorable mention winners are Anthony Cardinale (Florida State University), Jake Haggard (University of Louisiana-Monroe), Alexandra Raimondi (Broward College) and Sebastian Tablada (Florida International University). Congratulations to all!

The Broward County PBA would like to thank Matthew Oppedisano of the Wellington, Florida-based Law Enforcement Retirement Advisory Service and Richard Applefeld for their contributions to our scholarship fund.