Henrietta Duterte Scholarship

In honor of Henrietta Duterte, the first female funeral homeowner in the United States, this scholarship will support CCBC students in the Mortuary Science Program. Ms. Duterte was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was one of 13 children born to John and Henrietta Smith Bowers, who were natives of Baltimore, MD. In 1858 after Ms. Duterte’s husband’s death, Henrietta took over his funeral home and conducted business under her own name. Henrietta used the success of her funeral business to fund organizations in the Black community, including aid societies for formerly enslaved people. Duterte was also an abolitionist, philanthropist, and activist. As an agent for the Underground Railroad, she would hide enslaved people in coffins and move them through the city, disguised as part of a funeral profession. Henrietta was committed to reforming both the funeral industry and society-at-large. It’s her forward-thinking, community-minded principles that make her the ideal face of this scholarship for students in Mortuary Science.

This scholarship will be awarded for the academic year to a student admitted into the Mortuary Science degree program with a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. Students must have completed Mortuary Science 101 with a C or better, and be enrolled in 9 or more credits. Applicants must demonstrate financial need by filing the 2023-2024 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Applicants will write a 300–400-word essay identifying why they need this scholarship and why they are pursuing Mortuary Science.

Supplemental Questions
  1. Please write a 300–400-word essay in the application identifying why you need this scholarship and why you are pursuing Mortuary Science.
  2. Did you complete Mortuary Science 101 with a grade of C or better?