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Life Lessons Scholarship winners awarded $5,000 each to pay for college


Each year as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, the American Family Life Insurance Company sponsors the Life Lessons American Family Scholarship.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Did you know that, according to 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, by Life Happens and LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association):

  • In 2021, about 60% of those without a life insurance policy said they need it.
  • Of the 52% of adult Americans who have some form of life insurance, 74% of them have an individual life insurance policy while 48% own group or employer-sponsored coverage.
  • About half of Americans overestimate the cost of term life insurance coverage at rates as high as three times the actual cost.
  • Purchasing life insurance is easier than you think. Thirty-six percent of people believe they wouldn’t qualify for life insurance, but most people qualify for some amount of coverage.

Life Lessons American Family Scholarship

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, the American Family Life Insurance Company sponsors the Life Lessons American Family Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship, program run by Life Happens but sponsored by American Family Life Insurance Company and voted on by Life Company leadership, helps students who struggle to pay for college after losing a parent who had little to no life insurance. The scholarship will be used toward future tuition and qualified expenses, which helps minimize the student debt that may otherwise have been incurred.

Meet  scholarship winners, Zahirah and Xavier

It was a chilly winter day for running errands when Zahirah and her aunt received a call they never thought they would get — Zahirah’s mother had passed away from aspirational pneumonia.

Zahirah was only 13 when her mother passed away, but her dreams were big. Born to a single mother in inner-city Philadelphia, she had always dreamed of attending college.

After her mother died, Zahirah was adopted and moved to Georgia. She worked hard to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average in high school.

A first-generation college student, Zahirah now attends Georgia Southern University and is working for a degree in biology. She dreams of attending medical school and positively impacting the lives of others.

Xavier was looking forward to spending a day with his father when he found out that his dad had suffered a massive stroke early in the morning. His father was put into a medically-induced coma and passed away shortly after.

Xavier was only 11. He was unable to help his mother with expenses and, though they had life insurance, it wasn’t enough to sustain them for long. However, Xavier used his father’s story to persevere and inspire hope—and healthy habits—in others.

His father was a smoker, which was a large cause of his stroke. As he got older, Xavier began helping with the Indiana Black Expo “Matters of the Heart” smoking cessation campaign and has touched many lives with his work.

Importance of life insurance coverage

Both Zahirah and Xavier faced considerable barriers after the deaths of their parents, one of them being a lack of adequate life insurance coverage to help pay for expenses, like funerals, education and housing, after their parents passed away.

While their parents had life insurance coverage, they were underinsured, leaving Zahirah and Xavier’s families with financial strain. Being underinsured is one of the largest risks associated with life insurance coverage, and it happens often.

Though their stories are ones of loss, Zahirah and Xavier persevered to overcome the tragedies they faced to pursue their dreams and work toward having an impact in the lives of others.

Talking about life insurance coverage can be daunting, but it’s a necessity to ensure you can help financially protect your loved one’s dreams in case of a tragedy.

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About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 232 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America Insurance. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.