Life Happens, the nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the importance of life insurance, is now accepting applications for its annual Life Lessons Scholarship Program.
The scholarship program, now in its 11th year, provides financial assistance to students who are persevering through the hardship of pursuing a higher education following the death of a parent or legal guardian who did not have life insurance.
For the first time in the program's history, Life Happens will award over $200,000 in scholarship money, ranging from $5,000-$15,000. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-word written essay or 3-minute video that describes how their lives have been affected, both emotionally and financially, by the death of a parent or guardian.
According to a recent survey by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), 70%* of classroom educators know a student who has lost a parent or loved one in the past year. While organizations such as the AFT are making strides in providing better support and guidance to grieving students and their families, there are few resources available specifically dedicated to helping students deal with the financial burden of enrolling in higher education.
"With the cost of college at an all-time high, it can become a distant and unattainable dream for students who have lost a parent, especially where they were financially dependent on them," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, President and CEO of Life Happens. "Through our Life Lessons program, we are able to ease some of the financial burden for those amazing young individuals who are pursuing a college education, despite being faced with the unimaginable tragedy of losing a parent or guardian. Their inspiring stories serve to remind us all of just how important life insurance is in protecting our families' financial well-being."
Life Happens will consider applications for its Life Lessons Scholarship Program from students between the ages of 17 and 24 who have been accepted to, or are currently enrolled in, a college, university, or trade school, and have suffered the loss of a parent or legal guardian. This year, the organization will award a total of 28 scholarships, with three of the recipients receiving grand scholarships of $15,000—one from the essay submission and two from the video submissions. Interested candidates must submit an application online at www.lifehappens.org/scholarship. Applications will be accepted between now and March 3, 2015 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
For students like Melina Ahmadpour, a past Life Lessons recipient, applying to the Life Lessons Scholarship Program not only helped ease the financial burdens of paying for college, but had a tremendous, positive impact on life overall.
"At the age of 19, I lost my mother to cancer. Because she did not have life insurance, I experienced many financial hardships and found myself in desperate need of college funding," Ahmadpour said. "That's when I came across the Life Lessons Scholarship Program and applied. From the moment I was awarded the $7,500 scholarship, my life made a complete turn, and I've been sent on an impeccable journey I never thought possible."
This is the sixth consecutive year that Life Happens will award more than $100,000 in scholarships through the Life Lessons program. The program is made possible through the generous financial support of the MDRT Foundation and the NAILBA Charitable Foundation, as well as donations from Life Happens board of directors and several company organizations, including the State Farm Foundation, Swiss Re, and the Pacific Life Foundation. Life Happens also accepts contributions from individual donors. For more information about making a tax-deductible donation, visit: www.lifehappens.org/donate.
To learn more about the Life Lessons Scholarship Program, including information on submission guidelines, rules, and the stories of past winners, visit: http://www.lifehappens.org/lifelessons. All questions regarding the Life Lessons Scholarship Program should be emailed to [email protected].
*Source: American Federation of Teachers
About Life Happens: Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. The organization does not endorse any product, company or insurance advisor. Since its inception in 1994, Life Happens has provided the highest quality, independent and objective information for people seeking help with their insurance buying decisions. The organization supports the insurance industry by providing marketing tools and resources and convening the industry each September for Life Insurance Awareness Month. Life Happens is supported by more than 150 of the nation's leading insurance company and financial services organizations. To learn more, visit www.lifehappens.org.
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