The loss of a parent or guardian is one of life’s most difficult ordeals. The emotional strain can be devastating to children and young adults. And for too many families, an untimely death also brings financial stress, making recovery all the more difficult.
A college education is already a major financial challenge for most American families, but it becomes infinitely more difficult for a student when a parent dies, leaving little or no life insurance.
Life insurance is an important financial safety net that parents can leave their families. Unfortunately nearly 100 million Americans don’t have life insurance, and most with coverage have far less than recommended.
Recognizing the character and perseverance that so many young people show in the face of such adversity, Life Happens sponsors the annual Life Lessons Scholarship Program for college students and college-bound high school seniors. Qualified entrants who submit essays or videos about how the death of a parent impacted their lives are eligible for scholarship money. Over a million dollars in college scholarships have been awarded over the years. The total of scholarships for the 2018 Program is $150,000, and will be allocated in the following amounts:
- Grand Scholarship recipients (4): $15,000
- Life Lessons Pacific Life $15,000 Scholarship (4)
- Life Lessons State Farm $12,500 Scholarship (2)
- Life Lessons Allstate $5,000 Scholarship (2)
- Life Lessons MIB Group, Inc. $5,000 Scholarship (2)
- Life Lessons LIDMA $5,000 Scholarship (1)
- Life Lessons Partners Financial $5,000 Scholarship (1)
- Life Lessons Windsor Insurance $5,000 Scholarship (1)
- Board of Directors $5,000 Scholarship (1)
- Life Lessons $5,000 Scholarship (6)
Note to Students
The Life Lessons Scholarship Program is an annual program. Applications are accepted online from February 1 to March 2. Scholarship recipients will be notified in the June timeframe.
Entering is easy. First, read the rules to make sure you qualify, and then enter online. In addition to some basic information, you’ll need to submit either a 500-word essay OR a 3-minutes video discussing how the death of your parent or guardian affected your life financially and emotionally. Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate life insurance coverage (or no coverage at all) impacted your family’s financial situation. To view the full description you can go to the application page here.
If you have any questions, please email scholarship(at)lifehappens(dot)org, or call (703) 888-4440 x4447.
Donate to the Life Lessons Scholarship Fund
Individual contributions are accepted from those wishing to support this important initiative. 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. Donations to the Life Lessons Fund are tax-deductible.
Click here to donate
Life Lessons Scholarship is proudly sponsored in part by the following organizations.
National Driving and Traffic School is proud to announce their 2018 scholarship opportunity, entitled “Youth Forward.” The company is seeking applicants for six $500 scholarships rewarding a deserving youth – either enrolled as a High School Sophomore, Junior, or Senior or as a College Freshman – on the topic of volunteerism and youth.
YOUTH FORWARD SCHOLARSHIP 2018
Volunteerism is increasingly important in American society. Indeed, most of today’s High Schools require some type of volunteer work in order to graduate. Colleges and universities as well seek to encourage students to “give back” to their communities.
This scholarship seeks to reward a few deserving youth for his or her commitment to the spirit of volunteerism. The application is handled in essay format. To apply, submit an essay of less than 500 words in Microsoft Word format addressing the following questions:
This is an annual scholarship program.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED IN YOUR ESSAY / APPLICATION:
- What is the area in which you have chosen to volunteer (e.g., homelessness, anti-drunk driving, youth art programs, etc.).? Why did you choose it?
- How many hours per year / week / month have you volunteered?
- What are / were your responsibilities as a volunteer?
- What has been your biggest challenge as a volunteer?
- What has giving you the most satisfaction as a volunteer?
- What have you learned from your volunteer position?
How are your interests and career goals in alignment with that volunteer focus, or perhaps not?
- Looking towards the future, how do you see your activities as “forward looking?” What does “forward looking” mean to you?
- What change do you seek to foster in the world via your volunteer activities?
- If you were to come back in ten, twenty, or even thirty, years do you think your volunteer activities would have “made a difference?” How so?
BROWSE SUBMITTED ESSAYS BELOW:
By “sharing” an essay on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+), you are casting a “vote” that that essay should win.
2 prizes will be awarded for each of the three essay submission contests. One for the most votes and the other as our staff favorite.
by Brady Coulthard
After attending the FFA Washington Leadership Conference, I was inspired to do a community service project in my hometown. There is only 1 book for every 300 children in low-income areas. I wanted to change that. I was able to collect 2,400 books for children of low-income families in Neillsville, Loyal, and inner-city Milwaukee.
by Shaeloren Deering
During my first year at Spelman College, I was provided with the opportunity to mentor and tutor elementary school students from the West End community in Atlanta, Georgia. I went into this experience expecting to educate and teach community youth. I never expected for the youth to teach me.
by Hannah Moffitt
In my essay I talk about how volunteering at the elementary school level has affected me and what I have learned from my experience.
by Tyler Lewis
Volunteering at Camp Jenny as a way to help break the cycle of poverty for inner city Atlanta kids every Memorial Day weekend.
by Jordyn Whitson
This essay touches on my most valuable community service experience-- OP Camp.
by Jade E. Williams
I love helping people become successful, seeing them smile and making them happy, knowing that helping others be the best they can be and knowing I made a difference makes me happy and keeps me going every day.
by Lydia M Joyner
I volunteer as a teacher's assistant in jazz and tap classes at my childhood dance studio, Dance World. Over the last 4 years, I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with over 40 young girls, discovering the differing paces at which they learn, and how that knowledge can be applied to my growth as a cooperative human being.
by Malik Caleb Grant
My volunteer experience through LearnServe Student Travel Abroad
by Camryn Clune
I believe that our talents are given to us from God and should be used to make a difference in the world. Since I was eight years old, I have been using performing arts as a platform to raise money for families affected by pediatric cancer.
by Sabrina Heizenrader
Teaching Natural Wonders to the Next Generation describes my time as a Student Leader at Outdoor Science School.
by Carson Monks
This essay showcases the unparalleled impact that the Boy Scouts of America has had on my ability to serve my community.
by Rache Scimeca
This essays explains my dedication of the health of community as a volunteer EMT. In my town, I ride on the ambulance and respond to calls on average, 16 hours a week. I have been involved in this spectrum of my community since May 2016. This experience as taught me the benefits of better one's self while also benefitting present and future generations.
by Jocelyn Chen
My musical volunteering and performing experiences with chamber music.
by Renee Curtis
How organizing an Art Show for the Center for Children helped me gain closure for my past and helped me become a part of something bigger than myself.
by Zhenbang Yu
In my essay, I focus on teaching children with limited access to education at the hospital
by Sequoyah Shirley Vasquez Hilton
My essay follows my first habitual volunteering program, which provided low-income children the chance to play an organized sport.
by Michele Maya
I explain all of my volunteer work I have done in the past six year and go into detail on my favorite place to give back.
by Elizabeth Balsiger
I am an active volunteer with students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because of my time volunteering, I have chosen to dedicate my life to working with children and adolescents with disabilities in the field of speech therapy.
by Chantelle Roddy
I'm fortunate enough to be able to volunteer as summer camp counselor for kids ages 5-12 years old. I never expected that role to be as important as it is. So many of the kids come from difficult backgrounds and need someone to look up to, so I'm honored to be that person for them. I will forever be thankful for all they have taught and continue to teach me.
by Cheyenne Cleggett
Discovering what giving back means through mandated community service. Selfless acts of kindness is far more valuable than money.
by Kathleen Peet
A short essay explaining my volunteering experience and everything that came with it.
by Kathleen Dobrott
This essay is about how volunteering with children has impacted my life and my future teaching career.
by Amber Massa
The Ronald McDonald House is a place where families with sick children at the hospital can stay to be close to them. I am on the Teen Advisory Board and have many monthly requirements I am happy to do. (On a side note, I wasn't sure if my other application submitted correctly because the computer didn't have good connection. I am very sorry if you received two applications from me. You can delete the other one. Thank you.)
by Lauren Hamilton
The rewards of volunteering can be much greater than serving others in physical ways. I have found the greatest joys in serving my community and witnessing how I have impacted people's lives to help them realize they are loved and cared for. Volunteering has helped me appreciate my blessings and desire to do everything in my power to help others.
by Alyssa J Stewart
This is about the first time I volunteered at The Mission.
by Abagail Lorenzo
This essay reflect on my experience as an EMT.
by Sloane Michelle Sengson
I am mainly involved in three various medical facilities. Within these three medical facilities, I was encouraged by friends and/or community members to pursue various types of service to help broaden my knowledgeability of various needs in my community. The three medical facilities that I volunteer at include the local hospitals, the local pregnancy clinic, and an urgent care clinic.
by Clara Shanabrook
The story of my volunteer goals in my community and the world at large, and how it has informed my goals for the future.
Applicants must be currently enrolled in either High School, University or College as a full-time student (2018-2019 school year).
Employees and relatives of National Driving and Traffic School are ineligible.
There will be three contest submission dates. To be eligible for the contest submit your essay by one the submission dates.
1. Round 1 April1st: application deadline; winners announced 4/30/18
2. Round 2 August 1st: application deadline; winner announced 8/31/18
3. Round 3 December 1st: application deadline; winners announced 12/31/18
Along with your submission please include a picture of yourself which we can post on our site to go along with your essay
The winner will be required to provide proof of successful acceptance to a Higher Institute of Learning, College or University. Payment will be made directly to the applicant’s college. If you have additional questions, please contact us.