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Jessica Copley’s Life Lessons AccuQuote Prize-Winning Essay

Meet Jessica Copley, winner of the 2017 Life Lessons Scholarship Program.

By Byron Udell | July 10, 2017

Meet Jessica Copley, our 2017 Life Lessons AccuQuote Scholarship Program winner. Her thoughtful and persuasive essay illustrates why it’s so important to have life insurance.

Jessica Copley was one of five semifinalists competing for the 2017 Life Lessons AccuQuote Scholarship Program. Since 2005, the Life Lessons Scholarship Program has provided financial assistance to deserving college-ready kids, to help make their dreams of higher education come true. This scholarship is funded by AccuQuote and administered through Life Happens.

Each semifinalists was required to submit either a 500-word essay or a 3-minute video to explain why their life story and future aspirations made them deserving of the scholarship.

In her own words, below is Jessica prize-winning essay:

Being only thirteen years old, I did not understand the necessity of a life insurance policy that provided a “Plan B,” until my father took his own life, leaving behind his family and wife with unfeasible expenses. As a single parent with multiple mouths to feed and the cost of my father’s funeral, my mother was overwhelmed. We relied on other family members for financial assistance, while my mom was working full-time at our local Walmart.

Not only did my father leave behind an impossible amount of expenses…questions that will never be answered…good-byes that will never be heard…and a wife with eight children who will never understand his [fatal] decision. The towering debt kept my family from mourning. My mom went to work, and my sister and I grew up overnight.

As one of the oldest still living at home, I, along with my older sister, became “the parents.” At thirteen, I took full responsibility for my three younger siblings. I made sure they helped with the chores, finished their homework, and made them dinner. I did not get to do all the normal things a thirteen-year old would do. Instead of having a slumber party with my friends, I was reading bedtime stories to my little brother and tucking him in at night.

My teenage years were ripped away, forcing me to become a parent to my siblings. This could have been avoided if my father would have been insured. However, this was not the case. I did not let this adversity define me. I have worked diligently since my family’s wake-up call in order to achieve my lofty future goals of becoming a doctor. No matter the obstacles I will face, my ambition will remain.

Due to the financial stress, I know that putting money towards my college fund is impossible. I have kept my GPA high, taken the most challenging courses available, and scored high on important tests, in order to become a scholarship-worthy student. I have been accepted into Marshall University, where I will major in Biology in the fall. If granted this scholarship, the overbearing weight of paying for college will be lifted.
As a doctor, the opportunity will arise to benefit and assist people in society. My past experiences have prepared me for the stress and responsibility I will face on my educational journey. Unlike my father’s lack of an insurance plan, I have mapped out an elaborate outline, so I will be able to see the changes I wish to see in the world.

In life, abrupt events occur, such as the loss of a loved one, and provisions should have been in place, but [sadly] they were not. My teenage years would have been “normal” if my family was not faced with the financial burden of funeral expenses, and a single mother left with many children. My mother would not have had to take on a full-time job, and we would not have had to continually ask family members to borrow money [if we had had life insurance].

Jessica’s video acceptance statement is available here.

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