Funeral Industry Press Releases

Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust Announces Most Recent Second-Career Scholarship Winners

January 13, 2012

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Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust Announces Most Recent Second-Career Scholarship Winners

DEERFIELD, ILL. – January 14, 2012 – Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust has announced its two most recent recipients of the Second-Career Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 each. The winners are Brianna Kay Vujovich of Woodbury, Minn., and Scott Bowler of Mesa, Ariz. The awards will help the recipients complete their education in mortuary science. The scholarship was created to meet the educational needs of the increasing number of second-career professionals entering independent funeral service seeking positions as funeral directors and future leaders.

Vujovich is attending the University of Minnesota, where she is expected to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mortuary Science in May of 2012. She chose the University because it is one of the few schools to offer a four-year degree in mortuary science and is also a Big Ten school. It will be her second Bachelor’s Degree, with her first received in 2001 when she graduated Magna cum Laude from St. Cloud State University.

“Funeral service is something I always wanted to do,” said Vujovich. “Originally I chose to follow in my father’s footsteps and pursue a career in sales, but I finally followed my heart and pursued what I love. I would eventually like to manage a funeral home and possibly work toward ownership. This scholarship will help me to realize this dream.”

Vujovich is currently employed part-time at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, owned by Mark and Kevin Waterston.

Bowler is a former woodworker and general contractor originally from St. George, Utah. After a twenty year career, he made the decision to close the family business in late 2010 when the construction industry floundered. It was while serving bereaved families as a church leader and, even more so while experiencing the death of his mother that Bowler realized his calling to the profession of funeral service.

“These experiences were enough to plant a seed in my psyche,” said Bowler. “Through all of them I truly feel called to the work – if I never made a dime as a funeral director, I believe I could still live a happy and fulfilling life in the service of the bereaved.”

Bowler is expected to complete the Mortuary Science Program at Mesa Community College in May. Because he moved to the area for his studies, Bowler has been paying out-of-state tuition and has relied on grants and loans. He says that the scholarship will help greatly to fund the completion of his studies.

Bowler currently works part-time at Bunker Family Funeral Home in Mesa.

Since the award was first launched in late 2010, The Board of Trustees has increased the number of scholarships to be awarded to up to four $1,500 scholarships each year; two in July and two in December. Additionally, 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 the July 2012 Second-Career Scholarship is available at 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. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must not be related to an owner of a funeral firm currently in operation and must be currently enrolled in a full-time Mortuary Science program at an accredited school. By creating the program, the Trust hopes to attract and assist future practitioners interested in entering the profession.

Established in 1982, the Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust strives to enrich the professionalism of the independent funeral practitioner through lifelong learning and is dedicated to funding the development and administration of research initiatives, assistance grants, award programs and the presentation of educational programs dealing with business management, counseling, personnel management and other topics of importance and interest to the members of Selected and independently owned and operated funeral home professionals. More information on the Selected Educational Trust and its activities can be found at