I always tell people it’s my favorite day of the year – the day I get to call the recipients of the Life Lessons Scholarship Program. It’s always one of two possible reactions: immediate tears or uncontrollable laughter. But the elation, relief and disbelief are present with each and every phone call I get to make.
In 2005, Life Happens established the Life Lessons Scholarship Program for students who lost a parent (or guardian) who had little to no life insurance. Not only have these students suffered an unimaginable loss at such a young age, but now they’re faced with financial challenges even a mature adult would find daunting. It’s our hope that the scholarship can ease their mind about their finances and maybe help them heal emotionally with the knowledge that their story is helping consumers learn how important life insurance truly is.
Since the program launched, we’ve been able to award about $2.5 million to over 650 students across the country. Those number seem intangible – you can’t experience the release of emotions that happens when a student finds out they’ve been selected. I’ll never forget calling a winner in 2019 who truly thought I was pranking him when I told him he’d been selected. When he finally realized this wasn’t a joke, he couldn’t stop laughing.
Or take this video of our 2020 Grand Prize recipient, Zoe. Last year, I decided to spread the joy around and have our President and CEO Faisa Stafford make the call. Reading about Zoe’s reaction is one thing, but I encourage you to watch and experience what a life changing moment feels like.
While I can’t let each of you make one of these calls, I do have a few ways you can be involved. First, I encourage you to sign up to be a Life Lessons screener to help us score the applications. It can be a time consuming – and emotional – process, but I promise you it will be time well spent. And most importantly, you can donate to the program. Any amount helps and all donations go directly to our recipients.
Check back in later this year for an update on how 2021’s program is going!