The Selected Educational Trust has announced two scholarship recipients for the 2023-2025 class of the Selected Leadership Academy:

  • Jill Lazar, Hoffman Funeral Home, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, recipient of the 2023 Leadership Academy Scholarship, sponsored by Homesteaders Life Company.
  • Ping Wu, Cypress Lawn, Colma, California, recipient of the Chester T. French Memorial Scholarship.

These scholarships, valued at more than $5,000 each, provide the recipient with full two-year tuition plus an annual stipend to participate in the Selected Leadership Academy, a unique and rewarding educational opportunity offered exclusively to members of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. The Academy is a personalized journey for those, no matter their title or position, who believe their leadership matters and choose to become better.

The need for programs like this is extremely timely, according to Lazar. “As the funeral profession continues to change, there will be a need for leadership qualities to guide and bring staff together throughout those challenges,” she said. “As we experience a shortage of licensed directors, there is a demand for leaders who work to solve problems and be inclusive in a diversified workspace.”

The end goal is always service to families, Wu said. “When I can help my team do their job better, the impact trickles all the way down to the families we serve,” she said.

“It’s an immense commitment of time and effort on the part of the participant,” stated Stefanie Favia, the Trust’s senior director of development, “But the reward is equally great. We are honored to be able to propel these dynamic professionals forward with this opportunity to grow and lead.”

For more information about the Selected Educational Trust, visit or contact Favia 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.


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