Swiss Re Recipient

Naysia Gibbs

AMOUNT: $5,000
SCHOOL: Ball State University
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” This quote by Richard Puz describes my life five years old. On July 19, 2005, most children were probably taking a nap, eating, or watching television. I was a child that had lost a parent, an event that significantly changed my life. My father was brutally robbed and murdered in his home. The death of a loved one not only affects your emotions, it affects your entire life. Now all I have is the stories from my loved ones, describing my father as a loving, genuine, and eccentric person. At the age of five, I wasn’t able to grieve my father or comprehend what happened. I was never able to say goodbye, but I cherish the photos and memories I have.

As I got older, the reality of the tragic situation was evident. My father was taken away from me at the age of 26, transitioning from late adolescence to early adulthood, he didn’t have any life insurance. I depended on my mother for financial support and she worked full-time and we moved to less expensive housing to make sure my brother and I had all of our necessities. As I got older, I obtained a job at the age of 16. I worked in fast food to assist my mom while maintaining superb grades in school, running track and field, and participating in school clubs. I diligently earned enough money to purchase my own vehicle. I graduated with Academic Honors and I was accepted into the college of my choice. I was also awarded financial aid but it wasn’t sufficient to cover all of my expenses.

The assistance of my family and friends helped make a difference. My father didn’t have a headstone for many years after his death until a family friend purchased one. If my father had adequate life insurance, it would’ve taken an immense burden off of my family and I. I wouldn’t have had to purchase my own car or rely on student loans to assist me in college. My father’s tragic demise is something that I ponder every day. I cannot comprehend why he is no longer here but I feel a substantial obligation to make a difference in this world. I would like to complete my education to become an attorney. My circumstance has fostered an ambition to become successful and I want to significantly impact the lives of others. Not only that, but I would like to gain an understanding of the justice system and help others who may experience a similar situation feel that they were given fair treatment in our justice system. Most importantly, I would like to feel that I made my late father and my family proud. I want to feel that the loss of my father was the light to lead me to a successful future. The ability to do so would be fulfilled with assistance in completing my college career.

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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