Scholarship sponsored by Life Happens Board Member Barb Pientrangelo

Maria Johnson*

AMOUNT: $5,000
SCHOOL: University of Michigan
On February 18th, 2019, I learned that my father had shot my mother to death and then killed himself. It was horrible to learn that my mother, who has been there for me for over 16 years of my life, was all of a sudden dead because my father decided she deserved to be murdered. Needless to say, this has been a source of incredible pain for me for the past year.

Emotionally, I was hit hard. I moved from Texas to Michigan to live with my mom’s sister’s family. I’m adjusting to having a completely new home without my mom and dad. For a few months since moving, I had some insomnia that made it harder to go through each school day. I had difficulty keeping up with assignments for the rest of 11th grade and had to force myself to study for the SAT exam. I felt lonely without my old friends in Texas. For many months, I struggled with suicidal feelings.

Financially, costs became higher for the rest of my family. We had to pay for funeral expenses, and we are currently paying for my grief counseling costs. My brother and I are paying for utility bills for our old home using my parents’ inheritance and my mom’s life insurance. My aunt and uncle now have to pay for some of the costs my brother and I have. Thankfully, we have been able to afford these costs, but it is more difficult than if my parents were still working.

My college plans have not changed too negatively. I plan to attend the University of Michigan now rather than my previous college of choice, the University of Texas at Austin. I hope to major in computer science in college in order to work in artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. I’m not sure yet which specific field I want to do, but I’m hoping to work in a field that allows me to help other people and improve people’s quality of life. I believe a computer science degree will help me achieve this since it has many different applications, such as in websites, machines, and software.

Receiving a scholarship from Life Lessons would help ease some of the costs of university, including tuition and college supplies themselves and other costs such as food and insurance costs. Once I turn 18, my aunt and uncle’s legal guardianship for me will expire, so their workplace will no longer help pay for my insurance costs. I would be incredibly grateful to receive a scholarship from Life Lessons, as I would be able to pay these fees more easily without having to worry as much about losing money. I would also be able to achieve my goal of becoming a computer scientist with less financial difficulty. The loss of my parents certainly has had a large impact on our family, and thus, a scholarship from Life Lessons would mean a lot to me.

*Recipient’s name has been changed.

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.

Pin It on Pinterest