COVID-19 Relief Scholarship sponsored by Mike Weintraub

Precious Johnson

AMOUNT: $10,000
SCHOOL: Florida A&M University

On December 23rd 2020, my father passed away with COVID-19 and pneumonia. At 9:27 pm his heart stopped, my mom’s heart stopped and my heart stopped. My mom screamed and cried in my arms, screaming “come on Jay, come on Jay” and as she cried all I could do is say “calm down mom, it’s going to be ok.” I was so shocked. I couldn’t even cry and to this day I still haven’t cried because I have to be strong for my mom. That same night my uncle and aunt came over and we had to drive to the hospital to pick up my dad’s belongings; that was the longest car ride of my life. The silence killed me and my mom’s tears that I wiped felt like a knife to my chest. When we got to the hospital a nurse brought my dad’s belongings out in a bag, A BAG. Do you know how it feels to see the last of a loved one in a bag? The saddest part of the whole situation is, my mom had to spray the bag with Lysol before we could even pick it up. Once we got home all I could do is lay in my bed in silence just looking at the ceiling, wondering, what in the world are we going to do now…

During the next few weeks, my mom and I found out we didn’t even know the man we loved. My dad has 2 mortgages on our house, one is worth $276,000 and the other is a home equity loan worth $65,000; the balance on our home loans is $316,000. Also, my father got a loan on our RV and the balance on the RV is $118,000. Even the car my dad got my mom for Christmas, which we were told was paid off, has a remaining loan balance of $14,000. Then my dad has 3 mortgages on 3 properties that have balances of $29,000.$71,000,$81,000. Nonetheless, my dad has credit card debt that is worth $100,000 or more.

Being that my dad didn’t have life insurance and didn’t have money saved up for my college fund, my mom and I have to figure out how we are going to live and how we are going to pay off all these loans. If my dad had life insurance we would have had some type of stability in our life knowing we had money to pay off his debts and pay for my college.

I plan to attend FAMU in the fall, majoring in sociology, in order to become a chief diversity officer to help minorities. But as of now, I have no idea how I am going to pay for college. Therefore, I have been applying for every scholarship my guidance counselor and I can find. I’ve been saving my work paychecks so my mom doesn’t have to worry about the financial burden of college. Sadly, I can’t even mourn my father’s death because of our financial crisis.

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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