Funeral Service Foundation Announces Expanded Academic Scholarship Program & Recent Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships range from $1,000-$5,000; 18 scholarships available; select scholarships now available to Canadian students

March 8, 2018
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BROOKFIELD, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees recently agreed to offer additional academic scholarships, increase award amounts, and expand the program into Canada in a bold move to make education more accessible and affordable for the profession’s next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers. Students enrolled in ABFSE-accredited institutions or accredited Canadian schools may apply online through March 30, and from September 1 – November 30.

Increased Awards

Awarded twice a year, the Funeral Service Foundation now offers up to 18 total scholarships, ranging from $1,000-$5,000. “We continually hear from students who say they could benefit from financial assistance,” said Foundation Executive Director, Danelle O’Neill. “Our goal is to help ease the financial burden by increasing both number of scholarships we offer, as well as the financial award.”

New this year, the Foundation will offer two Steve Lang Scholarships in honor of Homesteaders’ former CEO and Foundation Trustee Emeritus Steve Lang. “Throughout his career Steve has been a leader, mentor and advocate for individuals working in funeral and pre-need professions,” said Homesteaders CEO Steve Shaffer. “Supporting the Steve Lang Scholarship is a lasting tribute to his contributions to the Funeral Service Foundation and their shared commitment to promoting the value of funeral service.”

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The Foundation also offers the Joseph E. Hagan, Dennis Schoepp and Shipley Rose Buckner Memorial Scholarships; the Memorial Classic Scholarship; and promotes the Brenda Renee Horn and Steve Mack Memorial Scholarships in partnership with the SCI National Scholarship Program.

Expanded Scope

Scholarships are available to full- and part-time students pursuing a degree in mortuary science from ABFSE-accredited schools or, new this year, accredited Canadian schools. “Offering select academic scholarships to Canadian students is a natural step for the Foundation because making education accessible has been our cornerstone for three generations,” said O’Neill. “We’re thrilled to be able to help even more students offset the costs associated with pursuing a degree in mortuary science.”

Application Process

The online application requires individuals to submit a brief essay and a video; candidates choose among a slate of questions that address the profession’s future, its challenges and its draw.

The Foundation’s scholarship committee, comprised of educators and funeral service professionals, awards scholarships to those candidates whose essays and videos best highlight passion, drive and promise. “We extend creative control and allow candidates to answer questions that resonate with their experiences, because that’s when we truly see their drive and passion, and witness the meaningful impact they’re already making in their communities and with families,” said Scholarship Chair and Foundation Chair-elect Stephane Kann.

Comprehensive submission instructions, award amounts, eligibility requirements and scholarship terms and guidelines are available online.

Recent Scholarship Winners

The most recent academic scholarship winners are:

  • Dennis Schoepp Memorial Scholarship: Kristin Moore, Menomonee Falls, Wis. (Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • Foundation ’45 Scholarship: Nora Georgieva, Bellvue, Colo. (Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, Ill.)
  • Joseph E. Hagan Memorial Scholarship: Christian Cimini, North Providence, R.I. (Fine Mortuary College, Norwood, Mass.)
  • Memorial Classic Scholarships: Jennifer Lynn Eggers, Madison Heights, Mich. (Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.); Ryan Joseph Essington, Westmont, Ill. (Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, Ill.)
  • Shipley Rose Buckner Memorial Scholarship: Rachel Metzgar, Lombard, Ill. (Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Ill.)

“This scholarship is an affirmation that being dedicated to your passion will provide opportunities to pay it forward. I’m thrilled to continue my education with the confidence of knowing my future colleagues see potential in me,” said Eggers. “I look forward to living up to that potential as a noteworthy funeral professional!”

About the Funeral Service Foundation – FuneralServiceFoundation.org

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the profession’s philanthropic voice. As the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997, the Foundation receives operational support from NFDA and donors across the profession to help advance its mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.

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