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2014 Second Runner Up - Essay

Olabisi Ewumi

Scholarship Amount: $5,000

Hometown: Blaine, MN - School: St. Cloud State University

The death of my mother has been the most traumatic event in my life. Being raised by a single parent with three other siblings, life was not always easy but we somehow found a way to prosper. My mom was able to send my two older siblings to college and support them. With my mother gone, the whereabouts of my father unknown, and zero relatives living on the continent, my life turned upside down. The death of my mom was not only unexpected and devastating, but also presented new challenges in my life that I was not prepared to handle especially without the assistance of life insurance.

My family never expected the need of life insurance nor ever had the opportunity to discuss the issue. My mother’s death came as a shock and the lack of life insurance financially crippled my life and those of my siblings. We did not have money to continue the mortgage payments on the house. As a result, the bank repossessed our home leaving us homeless. We had nothing left. Fortunately, a church member brought my family in to her home. Thankfully with donations from the church and members of the community we were able to give my mom a fitting burial.

In spite of the financial difficulties that I had to confront, my health was unstable. I planned to go to a four-year university just as my siblings before me. With all the unanswered questions about finances, I had no option but to reject my acceptance to Mankato State University and choose Anoka-Ramsey Community College in order to save money and avoid debt. Moreover, I slumped onto depression uncertain if I would be able to complete the remainder of my senior year in high school. I was referred to a school counselor who helped me refocus my life. I went to her office to talk about twice a day until I finally graduated.

Through all the hardship of 2013, I have not lost the importance of family and education. In order to make up for the limited financial support, I work two jobs to support myself, attend school and take care of my little sister. Nevertheless, I was still able to earn twenty credits first semester maintaining a 3.78 GPA. My goal to double major in international business and education and also to travel abroad and minor in Spanish seems more possible every day. Upon completing my general courses this spring, I plan to transfer to Winona State University as a junior this fall.

Thus, the absence of life insurance has come has a great pain and difficulty to my family. Despite that we have not lost hope to further improve our lives. If my mom had life insurance, we would not have ended up homeless. We would be able to provide ourselves with adequate transportation, clothing and other necessities. Additionally, I would have been able to attend the college of my choice and finding a way to pay college would not be distressful.

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2014 Top Recipients