Envisioned Myself Helping People in Need of Kindness

Donald Bouchard of Chester, CT was awarded the Selected Independent Funeral Homes’ Educational Trust’s Second-Career Scholarship on March 30, 2011. $1,500 was paid toward his studies in the Mortuary Science Program at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, where he will graduate in the spring.

Bouchard, a 59-year-old former business owner, has had a lifelong dream of becoming a funeral director. “My interest in the profession started when I became acquainted with my eldest brother’s friend who was a funeral director,” he said. “I would sit for hours listening to all his stories and envisioned myself helping people in need of kindness and compassion.”

Originally enrolled as a part-time student in the Mortuary Science Program at Briarwood College in 2008, he has since switched schools and now attends full-time classes at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA. To coincide with his curriculum, Bouchard began applying for positions at local funeral homes and it did not take him long to find a job working alongside experienced funeral directors. Since April 2009 Bouchard has been a Professional Assistant at Selected member Carmon Community Funeral Homes in Windsor, CT, working calling hours, graveside services and in other capacities as needed.

Bouchard believes the funeral industry is the perfect career for him. “My innate kindness, caring and compassion for people, along with experiencing the professionalism with the Carmon family has reinforced my passion,” said Bouchard. “There is no doubt I have made the right decision.”

“Donald clearly has a longstanding passion and the right disposition to become a caring and successful funeral director,” said Robert J. Paterkiewicz, Administrative Trustee for the Educational Trust. “I’m so pleased that he applied for and was awarded the scholarship so that he can complete his degree and achieve his goal.”