OGR Foundation announces 2021 scholarship winners

INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2021) – The Order of the Golden Rule Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of its 2021 Awards of Excellence Gold and Silver scholarships. These are awarded each year to mortuary students based on strong academic performance, community involvement and an essay exemplifying a commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity.

The 2021 Silver Award of Excellence recipient is Kenneth Wortman of the Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, N.C. Wortman is a full-time student with a 3.97 GPA who wants to open his own funeral home one day that would specialize in traditional burial, cremation, green burial, alkaline hydrolysis and restorative reconstruction.

“I want to truly pour my heart and work into the community, and provide options that aren’t typically available,” Wortman said. “I hope to leave a legacy of trust, hard work ethic and a morally sound business for my children, that the community can rally behind.”

Wortman was awarded $2,000 to help complete his studies, which he plans to finish in December.

The Gold Award of Excellence recipient is Mariah Banks of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in Pittsburgh. Banks is already working as a Funeral Director’s Assistant at a funeral home in Pittsburgh but aims to one day own and operate her own funeral home “in an elegant and impressive manner.”

“As an individual and professional in my community, I aspire to incorporate excellence, trust, care, originality and growth into my daily life,” Banks said in her essay. “I want to advance your average funeral service to a level far beyond your standard amenity. I believe that everyone deserves personal service of the highest quality.”

Banks received $3,500 to help complete her studies. She plans to graduate in September.

Both scholarships were awarded at OGR’s Golden Circle Celebration, an online awards ceremony hosted for the association’s entire membership Thursday evening, April 29.

“Mariah and Paul each exemplify the heart for personal service that OGR stands for, and we are excited to welcome them into our profession,” said OGR Executive Director Wendy King.

Scholarships are funded by donations to the OGR Foundation, the charitable arm of the Order of the Golden Rule and a registered nonprofit under IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3). Its mission is to fund, perform and/or support activities on behalf of OGR that advance the standards of funeral service or contribute to the compassionate care of individuals in need. Learn more and make your tax-deductible donation at OGR.org/Foundation.

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About the Order of the Golden Rule

Founded in 1928, OGR is an association of independently owned and operated funeral homes throughout North America and overseas that share common goals of exemplary service, uncompromising care and compassion to families in their time of need. For more information, visit OGR.org.

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