Selected Educational Trust Announces Second-Career Scholarship Recipients

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Selected Educational Trust 2nd Career

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Selected Educational Trust Announces Second-Career Scholarship Recipients

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL — August 5, 2022 — The Board of Trustees of the Selected Educational Trust is proud to announce the recipients of the Selected Educational Trust 2022 Spring Cycle Second-Career Scholarship Program. Scholarships awarded this cycle include two sponsored by Gunderson Funeral Home, the Mark L. Justen Memorial Scholarship, and the Michael R. St. Pierre memorial Scholarship. The Board of Trustees faced the arduous task of choosing the recipients out of the more than 20 applicants, and Selected member firm Flanner Buchanan stepped up to add a fifth scholarship. Of this decision, Tony Lloyd, President/COO of Buchanan Group Inc. had this to say, “As a founding member of Selected, we have a great interest in the support of Independent Funeral Homes and the ever-growing staffing needs of the profession.  Providing a second-career scholarship is fitting support for this mutual need.” 

The recipients are:

  • Nia Collins attending Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh PA
  • Luke Foreman, attending Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas, TX, awarded the Michael R. St. Pierre Memorial Scholarship
  • Kami Gremillion attending Cypress College, Cypress CA
  • Courtney Richards attending American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, New York, NY
  • Christopher Wagner attending American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, New York, NY, awarded the Mark L. Justen Memorial Scholarship

“We often hear personal stories of students that have felt drawn to this profession for much of their lives, and are finally able to take the steps to make it a reality,” said Stefanie Favia, Senior Director of Development with the Trust. “The Trust created this scholarship program specifically for these individuals, making sacrifices and taking risks toward a better future for themselves and the profession.”

When asked what this scholarship meant to her, Nia Collins shared that this scholarship will take her one step closer to being able to “make a difference in the community by providing insight, comfort and compassion.” Commitment to community is a value shared by recipient Courtney Richards. “I have a very strong desire to continue educating my community more on the different forms of memorialization.”

Recipient Kami Gremillion is focused on her goals for the future. “My goal, through the funeral service education I am receiving, is to learn the skills necessary to comfort and help families navigate the storm that follows the death of a loved one. This is an extremely important task/gift, not to be taken lightly, and my motivation to pursue this path toward a more fulfilling life’s work.”

Second-Career Scholarships are awarded by the Selected Educational Trust to individuals who have chosen funeral service later in their career journey and currently are attending mortuary school. Since this program was launched in 2010, the Trust has awarded 53 scholarships, totaling more than $75,000 in tuition scholarships awarded to students pursuing mortuary sciences as a second career.

Applications open soon for the Fall 2022 Scholarship Cycle and will be due by October 31. Visit for more information, or contact

For more information about the Selected Educational Trust, visit or contact Stefanie Favia, Senior Director of Development, at


About the Selected Educational Trust

The mission of the Selected Educational Trust ( is to provide the best educational opportunities for the advancement and support of all who work within the independent funeral service profession. To fulfill this mission, the Trust provides programs which offer scholarships to mortuary science students and funeral service professionals, education programs serving to bridge the gap between school and on-the-job training through its Institute for Exceptional Funeral Service ( and networking and employment opportunities through its Workforce Development Centers.