LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program Announces Finalists

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In March 2009, SayCampusLife recognized the important work being done by the LIFE Foundation on behalf of children of deceased parent(s). These college-bound students are often at a disadvantage when it comes to their higher education as they are without the emotional and financial help of mother or father or both parents.

Since that article went live, we’ve read your comments and have responded to as many personal requests for more information as we could handle. However, because we’re not a distributor of these and similar types of college scholarships, we haven’t been able to do much more than to keep you posted as we uncover that information ourselves.

Voters Wanted

Recently, the LIFE Foundation reached out to us to let us know that they have chosen three finalists for a $5,000 college scholarship they are planning to present. But in order to choose a winner, the foundation is asking for people to choose who they think should win.  You can vote here between now and August 13, 2010. Voting promptly ends at 5 p.m. Eastern time on that date.

And just in case you wonder that the runner-ups won’t receive anything, take heart: LIFE Foundation says that the three young people whose videos are included in the online vote have already been awarded $2,500 college scholarships.

Here is the information about the finalists:

Mashell Ewing, Berkeley, CA – Growing up in a single-parent home, Mashell’s mother was everything to her and her siblings. When her mother died suddenly of a heart attack, there was no life insurance to help provide for her family’s financial needs. She and her brother were forced to take on jobs to pay rent and other bills, as well as care for their younger sister. College seemed unaffordable. However, when Mashell was accepted to the University of California, Berkeley, she was determined to attend and become the first person in her family to earn a college degree. Through a combination of student loans and income she earns working two jobs, Mashell is pursuing her dream of a college education.

Giavanna Ficarra, Aptos, CA – When Giavanna’s father was shot and killed in a dispute with a neighbor, Giavanna didn’t just lose her father, she lost her best friend. Her father also took with him her source of stability and financial security. Her father had not renewed his life insurance policy the year he died and he didn’t have a will, leaving her and her sisters with nothing. To provide for herself, Giavanna has taken on jobs singing in nightclubs and working in restaurants. Getting a college education is important to her and although she doesn’t have any financial support, she isn’t letting that get in her way. She’s currently attending Ithaca College in upstate New York, and hopes to pursue a music career.

Massih Zaboli, Mableton, GA – When Massih’s father lost his battle with stomach cancer, his family found themselves in financial trouble. His father did not have life insurance to help support them financially. Massih became the man of his house playing father and brother to his younger sister, while his mother worked overtime at her retail sales job. He also worked many hours after school to pay for his personal expenses and help contribute to the household. Eventually, he moved with his family to Atlanta from Chicago to live with his uncle until they could get back on their feet financially. Massih initially enrolled in community college and later transferred to Georgia Tech to study industrial engineering. He has been working hard to finance his education through work and loans.

59 Winners

The LIFE Foundation says that it will award 59 college scholarships totaling $105,000 this year. The winner of the online vote, as well as the other 2010 scholarship recipients, will be announced in September 2010.

Adv. — Visit Sallie Mae for information on college financial assistance including their innovative student loan program.

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Categories: Scholarships