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2009 Grand Prize - Essay

Sabrina Green

Scholarship Amount: $5,000

Hometown: Orangeburg, SC - School: Converse College

I was born into a single parent home. I was the second of my mother’s three children. My mother worked two jobs to clothe, feed, and shelter us. She desired to be a nurse and wanted to go to college to do so, but she didn’t have a high school diploma. While working two jobs she completed her GED, but she died from asthma and epileptic complications (when I was eight) , before obtaining a degree in nursing. My mother’s death didn’t just leave behind three orphans, it left behind emotional and financial burdens–she died without life insurance

My elderly grandmother resumed care of my sisters and I, but she died five years later of a broken heart–some say the death of my mother was too much for her to handle– she died without life insurance. We where then put into the care of my elderly grandfather, the strain of death and hurt that it leaves behind caused him to be emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive. Due to my problematic home environment I was homeless at the age of sixteen. I struggled to finish high school, and I struggled to get into college not only as a tribute to my mother, but to prove to my sisters that living by the way of the streets “ain’t” the only way to live. I’m currently 21. I’m trying to complete an undergrad degree in music performance/education. My grades and health are suffering because of my financial situation.

If my mother and grandmother had died with life insurance I wouldn’t have to work 40-45 hrs a week while trying to succeed academically as a full time student: I wouldn’t have to go a week without eating a healthy meal to pay the light bill, I wouldn’t have to take out several loans to pay for school, I wouldn’t have to fear for my life as I walk five miles home at two in the morning from work, I wouldn’t let bodily pains, or routine health examines be ignored, and last but not least I wouldn’t fear not succeeding in my tribute to my mother and grandmother, which is being an educated, established, leader. Not only will I be the first in my family with a degree…I hope to lead others to do the same. Please help make this possible.

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

2009 Top Recipients