The board of trustees of the Selected Educational Trust is proud to announce the recipients of the Selected Educational Trust 2023 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.

The recipients are:

  • Jessica Decker attending the State University of New York, Canton, New York.
  • Kassandra DiNardo attending Worsham College of Funeral Service, Wheeling, Illinois, awarded the Mark L. Justen Memorial Scholarship
  • Lillian Schenck, attending Worsham College of Funeral Service, Wheeling, Illinois, awarded the Michael R. St. Pierre Memorial Scholarship
  • Katelynn Schooley attending the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“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.”

Recipient Lillian Schenck said, “The mortuary science profession calls to me. I came to realize that my ability to help others through their time of crisis while providing a sense of peace, relief, and care has always been a strength of mine. I value resilience and acceptance, and I always incorporate those values in my sensitive approach to those who are grieving. I have long wanted to incorporate these strengths into my career. In 2019, I realized the educational pursuit of this profession was the obvious direction to take in my life.”

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 more than $90,000 in tuition scholarships to students pursuing mortuary sciences as a second career. Applications open soon for the Fall 2023 Scholarship Cycle and will be due by Oct. 31. Visit for more information, or contact

For more information about the Selected Educational Trust, visit or contact Stefanie Favia, senior director of development, via email.

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