DEERFIELD, ILL. — July 8, 2014 — Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust
recently awarded the summer portion of its Second-Career Scholarships
to two deserving individuals with diverse backgrounds. The students are continuing their education to pursue a second career in mortuary science. Both winners have a history of providing care for others, and their love for service is what drives them toward their aspirations in the funeral profession. The award, which is in its fourth year, is designed to provide financial assistance to those wishing to reinvent themselves in pursuit of a career as a funeral director.
Christopher Allen of Portland, Ore., is a full-time student enrolled in the Funeral Service Education Program at Mount Hood Community College
in Gresham, Ore. He is expected to graduate in 2015. Allen has spent the last 11 years working with Alpha Supported Living Services
, a non-profit organization supporting adults with developmental disabilities. Allen’s role expanded from direct support staff to clinical manager. Through the years, he learned that he had the skill and passion of helping others deal with grief and death. As his passion grew, he made the decision to pursue a full-time profession as a funeral director.
“I’m thrilled to receive this scholarship from the Educational Trust,” Allen said. “Changing careers was a bit of a leap of faith and being selected for this scholarship reinforces that I’m headed in the right direction. Receiving the award is truly an honor and the funds will be a huge help in paying for tuition,” he added. “I would like to thank everyone at the Educational Trust for this honor.”
Recently, Allen took the first step in this journey by accepting an internship at Holman’s Funeral Home in Portland.
Jayanna Weaver, of Carbondale, Ill., is expected to graduate in May 2015 from Southern Illinois University‘s Mortuary Science and Funeral Program
. Formerly a nursing student, Weaver spent four years providing private in-home care for elderly and disabled patients. She considers herself a very spiritual person and her time around people of extreme value. This background sparked Weaver’s interest in a career in funeral service. Weaver recently started volunteering at the Hughey Funeral Home
in Mt. Vernon, Ill.
“The Second Career Scholarship will allow me to focus on school and job shadowing at Hughey Funeral Home,” Weaver explained. “My goal is to put the monetary award to use to show the value of these types of scholarships to students like me. I am grateful for this scholarship because it inspires me to keep being a servant to our society, and I hope to someday pay it forward like Selected Independent Funeral Homes has.”
Weaver plans to continue shadowing at the Hughey Funeral Home, where she will intern in the spring semester of her senior year and begin a one-year apprenticeship upon graduation.
Since late 2010, the Board of Trustees
has bestowed 17 Second Career Scholarships (including these two), and increased the number of scholarships to be awarded to up to four $1,500 scholarships each year; normally two in July and two in December. All applications must include at least two letters of recommendation; one from a faculty member of the mortuary science program and the other from an owner of an independent funeral home or current or previous employer.
The official application for upcoming scholarships, as well as the complete list of previous winners and eligibility requirements, is available athttp://www.selectedtrust.org/second-career-scholarship.html
. The Second Career Scholarship is one of several programs of the Selected Educational Trust which was founded by Selected Independent Funeral Homes
, a worldwide professional association of independent, locally-owned funeral homes founded in 1917. By creating the program, the Trust hopes to attract and assist future practitioners interested in entering the profession. More information on the Selected Educational Trust and its activities can be found at www.selectedtrust.org