Selected Independent Funeral Homes’ Educational Trust Announces Two Second-Career Scholarship Winners
Ogeechee Technical College
   Michael Danis

DEERFIELD, ILL. — January 11, 2018— Selected Independent Funeral Homes’ Educational Trust has announced two new recipients of the Second-Career Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 each. The winners are Michael Danis of Pooler, GA and Ryan Essington of Westmont, IL. This scholarship is sponsored by Batesville Casket Company and 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.

Michael Danis, enrolled in the Funeral Service Program at Ogeechee Technical College, will graduate in August 2018. Currently employed at Gamble Funeral Service in Savannah, GA, Danis plans to continue his employment there after graduation. Danis comes to the funeral profession after working 20 years in the hospitality industry.

“Ed Gamble of Gamble Funeral Service has become a friend and mentor to me,” said Danis. “His high standards, values and attention to detail have encouraged me to be the best I can be. This is one reason I would always prefer to work with an independent funeral home. I feel an independent firm provides the best personal care that each family deserves.”

Ryan Essington, a full-time student at the Worsham College of Mortuary Science, expects to graduate in March 2018. Essington spent nearly 10 years working professionally in Christian ministry and currently works as a Student Funeral Assistant at Modell Funeral Home in Darien, IL.

“I selected funeral service as my career because I know that it will make an impact in the lives of people,” said Essington. “While some may consider life in funeral service somewhat dark and morbid, I believe it is a profession that celebrates the lives of people, honoring their
dignity and memory even after death and offering hope to the living.”

After graduation, Essington hopes to continue working at Modell as an Apprentice Funeral Director.

“I look forward to utilizing my talents to help enhance Modell’s business model to include even more personalized service and to grow their clientele through my relationship model with the local church,” said Essington.

Since the award was first launched in late 2010, the Board of Trustees have awarded 33 Second-Career Scholarships to deserving individuals seeking a career in funeral service.

More information on scholarship parameters, as well as the official application and complete list of previous winners visit the website. 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. By creating the program, the Trust hopes to attract and assist future practitioners interested in entering the profession.

Article courtesy of Selected Independent Funeral Homes


Contact Information

Barry Turner
Vice President for College Advancement
Phone: 912.681.5500 | Email:

Live Chat Software