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2013 Second Runner Up - Essay

Kennady Boone

Scholarship Amount: $5,000

Hometown: El Paso, TX - School: University of North Texas

The death of a parent, especially in tragic circumstances, makes life seem like a massive black hole that pulls everyone and everything into its center. At times it appears there is absolutely no hope of escaping this massive vortex.

I was only three years old and my brother was one when my mother left our family, twice. When she first left, my grandparents became our temporary guardians until my mother and father could work things out. My father was devastated and was not emotionally able to care for us, and my mother suffered from mental illness. So, there we were, two little kids being raised by grandparents who had never expected added dependents and child rearing expenses at their ages.

I know my mother cared what happened to us but she made no preparations for our future. She had no life insurance and no plans had been made for our financial stability. She probably hoped that she would reach a state of mental improvement and our future would be more secure with her. A year later, however, she took her own life and the temporary in the guardianship was no longer an issue.

My brother and I have lived with my grandparents since 1998. During that time they have both retired and my grandmother has suffered congenital heart failure resulting in an implant of an artificial mitral valve, and has had breast cancer. They live on a fixed income and their savings were spent on cancer treatments for my grandmother after she retired.

If my mother had had life insurance, even in the case of suicide, I think there would have been some financial help for our upbringing and education. Since my grandparents are unable to help me with college and my father’s low paying job makes it impossible for him to help, I am on my own.

So this black hole has pulled into it my brother, me, my grandparents and my father. We are all circling around and around looking for a way out. I am determined to get an education, and will work however hard I need to in order to accomplish that goal. This scholarship would be a ray of light piercing the darkness of that black hole.

Once my grandparents became our guardians, the first thing they did was to purchase life insurance policies on my brother and me. Even at their ages, they began looking to our future, and these policies will eventually belong to us. If my parents had purchased life insurance on themselves when they first married, I am convinced that my brother and I would not have had such a hard road after my mother’s death.

I am aware that money is not the answer to all problems in the world, but I am also aware that money is necessary in order to accomplish some of my goals. College will not be easy financially, but I will get out of this black hole, and I will get my education.

You can help students like Kennady make their dream of a college education come true by donating to the nonprofit Life Lessons Scholarship fund. Donate here.

2013 Top Recipients