Country Financial Recipient

Hope Green-Brooks

AMOUNT: $5,000
SCHOOL: Oregon State University

Hello, my name is Hope and I have lost both of my parents. When I was 3, my father died unexpectedly from diabetes. He was only 25. He did not leave any money to my Mom or I, let alone life insurance. Had he left us even a small amount of life insurance, our lives would have been very different. My young, single Mom worked very hard to support us, often working two jobs and getting home late in the evenings. Sometimes she even donated her plasma. She exemplified getting through adversity. This is why I will make sure I finish college—to honor her sacrifices and because I know that only through education will my life be what she dreamed of. She always stressed the importance of college and worked hard to ensure I went and had a better life than she did. I want to make her sacrifices worth it.

Money got even tighter when my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I started working as the chemo therapy and medical bills piled up.

During my freshman year, she had just 6 months to live.Determined to continue my education, I immediately switched to online classes and moved home to care for her. I got a full-time job at a daycare center to help support us. My Mom died last June. She was only 36. Though I know she would have wanted to, she also did not leave me any financial support.

I felt the financial impact of my Mom not having life insurance immediately. Without her, my ability to pay for school, rent, clothes, everything, has been a disaster and I have had to take out loans and work several jobs, while going to school, to make ends meet. I bounce between my aunt’s and uncle’s homes when I’m not at school and I feel guilty all the time asking them for help. Technically I’m an “adult,” but I just turned 20, so I’m learning a lot of life lessons for the first time.

What I have learned this far is that as soon as someone has a child, they need to get life insurance. I would never want any future child of mine to be left in this predicament and feel like I do, worrying all the time about how things will work out. I feel bad admitting I feel embarrassed that my parents did not plan better for the unexpected. I realize now that one is never too young to start getting life insurance. This is especially true in my case because my parents were both so young when they had me—it would have been more affordable than probably either of them thought. Even small amounts could have been put toward life insurance policies. The sadness of losing both of my parents was not preventable; the worry and anxiety of trying to finish college and move forward without having financial support, was.

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.

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