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Jermaine Suggs: Lessons Learned

Jermaine Suggs had just returned to college after attending his grandmother’s funeral when he got another call summoning him home again. When he arrived, his mother broke the news that his father had just died. Within the span of a week, he had lost both his grandmother and his father.

Jermaine was devastated by the loss. He quit school to try to help keep his father’s business afloat. The reality was, however, that only money—money that didn’t exist—would have kept the business going.

Jermaine was devastated by the loss.

There was no money because his father had let his life insurance lapse when he left the Army National Guard just two years earlier. In fact, it was the proceeds of Jermaine’s grandmother’s life insurance that paid for his father’s funeral. The lack of a life insurance benefit was compounded by the fact that his father had owed back taxes on his business. This was when Jermaine hit a low point: “My father’s death caused us to lose everything—his business, my ambition and my siblings’ closeness because of our financial situation.”

Returning to college was also out of the question. Instead, Jermaine went to work as an assistant manager at a gas station to help out his mother and to put money aside to eventually go back to school.

Three years of hard work and determination has paid off. With the money he has saved, along with a scholarship, Jermaine will be able to attend Concordia College in Selma, Ala., to get a degree in business administration.

Life has handed Jermaine some tough lessons, but he has definitely learned from them. “It’s a common saying that a person can take nothing with them into the after-life,” he says. “I would like to amend that saying by adding that even though nothing can be taken into the after-life, something can be left behind: Call it an after-death blessing and its name is life insurance.”

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

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