When I was in eighth grade my father decided to take his own life. My father, who I had always seen as the happiest man I knew, the life of the party, decided that his life was no longer worth living and left me, my stay-at-home mother, and my three younger sisters alone. When he died, we discovered his mountain of debt and that he had stopped paying for his, and all our, life insurance policies. Although my mother had nothing to do with any of my father’s finances, because he had put her name on the house and various other items, the immense amount of debt he raked up was thrown onto her and we were left with nothing. No car insurance, no life insurance, and no medical insurance. We lost our house, our car, and almost all the money we had, forcing my mother to claim bankruptcy in order to be exempt from the debt he had signed her to. If my father had continued paying for his life insurance, we probably would have had enough money to pay off all his debt. We lived with our grandparents for a few weeks until we were fortunate enough to find a home that our relatives helped us pay rent for. My mom, who had not worked in over fifteen years, found a part-time job as a personal trainer and we have been living paycheck to paycheck since then. Although we have been very lucky to have relatives who are willing to help us, paying for college has been an enormous financial burden, especially since my mother’s bankruptcy ruined her credit. This further prevents her from cosigning any student loans. I am currently in my second semester of my freshman year at Temple University and work forty-hour weeks all summer and winter breaks in order to help pay for my tuition. Often, I have to visit my university’s student food pantry in order to afford groceries. I am on track to graduate a semester early and will then move on to receive a master’s degree in accountancy. This scholarship would be so helpful to me and my mother, especially since she has to worry about paying for all three of my younger sisters to attend college in the next four years. This scholarship would relieve so much of the financial burden that I feel I have placed my family under this year by going to school and could make a real difference in my life.
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.