Lost Parent College Scholarship Takes to Online Voting

Lost Parent College Scholarship Takes to Online Voting


Online voting ends on July 5th.

We’ve shared extensively news about the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program, a special effort by the LIFE Foundation to help college bound students who lost a parent and, as a result of not having enough life insurance, have left these children without the resources to pay for college. To help choose a recipient of its $5,000 college scholarship, LIFE Foundation is conducting online voting to choose a winner. This year, a pair of runner-ups will also benefit, each receiving $2,500 college scholarships.

Three Finalists

Each of the three student finalists created videos that describe the impact of losing their parents at an early age, as well as describing what they are doing to provide for themselves and their families. LIFE Foundation is encouraging the general public to view the videos and cast their votes by visiting www.lifehappens.org/vote. The deadline to vote is July 5, 2011, at 4 p.m. ET.

“The stories of these young people are a powerful reminder that you can’t take for granted that tomorrow will come, and that it’s important to consider how your family would manage financially in your absence,” said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. “The students featured in our online vote are working much harder than their parents would have wanted to be able to pay for their college educations, and that’s something that could have been prevented had their parents had an adequate amount of life insurance. We’re proud to provide these very deserving students with scholarship support, hopefully getting them one step closer to achieving their college and career goals.”

Their Stories

The stories these teens have to tell are moving, but they aren’t hopeless. Each of the three, Joshua Gleim, Altoona, Pa.;  Skyler Bairds, Draper, Utah; and Mahogany Fleming, Cincinnati, Ohio have had to overcome tough circumstances, but each one has managed to get this far and they are looking forward to completing their college education.

Here are their stories:

  • Joshua’s stepfather was his family’s sole breadwinner. When he died, the only life insurance he had was a policy purchased through his business to keep it going in the event of his premature death. His family was left with almost nothing, not even the means to pay for his funeral. Joshua immediately started working to help support his family. During his high school years, he worked full-time in addition to studying and pursuing extracurricular activities. Today, he attends Penn State University and works in a fast-food restaurant to help put himself through school.
  • When Skyler’s father died, he left behind his wife and three children, but no life insurance to cushion the financial blow to his family. His business died when he did, further exacerbating the family’s financial struggles. Skyler isn’t letting this get in the way of his college aspirations, even though he knows that paying for his education will be difficult. He plans to attend the University of Utah this fall. He’s also committed to publicly sharing his father’s story to inspire other families to plan more wisely.
  • Mahogany was just one year old when her father was shot and killed, leaving her mother to raise Mahogany on her own. Without the financial support of a life insurance policy, her mother was forced to work three jobs at times, and still struggled to make ends meet. Despite the financial hardships her family has faced, Mahogany is determined to obtain a college degree in musical theater and business. She’s currently attending a career high school where she will receive her cosmetology license so that, after graduating, she can bring in a steady income to help cover the costs of her college education at the University of Toledo.

We’ll post the results here once the online voting has ended and when the LIFE Foundation shares those results. So, go online right now and help make a difference in the lives of three people who need a show of support from you.





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