My name is Abigail Schnautz and I am a student at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois. I grew up in a small town around Effingham Illinois, where my parents raised me and my three older siblings. During my life, I have faced turmoil and hardships and my very first encounter first being in 2012. On a crisp, day in September, my life changed dramatically as my mom died in a car accident. Although this experience was difficult, it would only cultivate and give me a taste for the next hardship. In 2018, I lost my father to a rare form of cancer. This was something that I would have never dreamed of being only 18 years old. At this point, I had no home, no financial stability and no emotional compass of my own. These natural changes in my life made me reconsider if college was an option if I would afford tuition, an apartment, and being able to cover my normal bills. Although my dad had life insurance, it was divided up amongst my three older siblings as well, and wouldn’t cover the cost of two semesters in college. To ensure that I can make ends meet I work three jobs in the summer so I can increase my saving and working two jobs in the school year while being a full-time student. I never thought finances would be able to distract me from my schooling or take presidencies over it. I appreciate how organizations like, Life Happens sees the unseen kids and allows them to lift the burden even just financially. I am currently pursuing my degree in psychology and teaching to help a younger student like me who has been through life’s traumas. I want to use these experiences that I have been given to benefit others and help encourage other people who maybe have the same walk of life.
Country Financial Recipient
SCHOOL: Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
The Life Lessons Scholarship is made possible through individual donations and corporate sponsorships. Your financial support can make a world of difference for a young person struggling to afford a college education due to the loss of a parent or guardian.