A student organization whose mission is to dispel the stereotype that death is morbid is catching life at North Campus.
The Last Responders, whose roster currently boasts about 30 members, hopes to shine a bright light on the unique field of funeral services.
“Our ultimate goal as the Last Responder’s club is to promote death’s positive aspects to our peers as well as the community,” said Chelsey White, the organization’s president. “We hope to expose the world to death in a positive light. We are currently on a mission to help bring awareness to [the] preparation of death, mentally and emotionally.”
In conjunction with Miami Dade College’s funeral services program, the Last Responders hopes to mentor future embalmers. The club works closely with priests, social workers, psychologists and other members of the care-giving profession to try and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of the business, specifically with South Florida’s various cultures.
The organization hopes to host guest speakers and perform community service projects. They also aim to invite non-funeral services students to educate them on the finer details of funeral services.
“I knew since the 5th grade that I wanted to be a funeral director,” Anthony Zanders, the club’s treasurer said. “My mother said that she knew that I was gonna be a funeral director since I was 4. She said that I was at my great grandmother’s funeral and I was standing at the head of the casket and I was greeting everyone and thanking them for coming to my grandmother’s funeral.”
Club members are passionate about their career choice and believe it is important to provide a dignified environment for bereaved family members.
“We are different because unlike other career fields, this career carries a lifetime of hurt and sadness but we remain strong for the families,” White said.
The Last Responders hope to make a dent in the stigma that death carries.
“My goal this year is to [bring] exposure to the club to help bring awareness to life because death is very much present and sooner or later we will all perish but have everlasting life,” White said.
Students can join the club by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The club meets in the Funeral Service building (Room 3142) on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon. For more information about the funeral services program, go to www.mdc.edu/north/funeralsciences/.