Rachel Reindl is a freshman at Florida State University, studying Health Science.
The JRC Insurance Group Scholarship was established to not only serve the community by providing funds to the winning applicant, but also to help educate families about the need for life insurance. Scholarship details can be found here.
We asked each applicant to write an essay about why a family breadwinner’s income should be protected by life insurance. Rachel’s essay cleverly and accurately captures the essence of the need for life insurance. With her permission, we have published her entry below.
Congratulations and a job well done, Rachel!
“Cheerios for Breakfast”
A new backpack for school every couple of years. Soccer cleats every season. Braces. A new bike when we outgrow the old. Cellphones and computers. Sneakers for gym class, and maybe for Track or Cross-Country. A birthday party – maybe not every year, but at least a few good ones. Cake. The family vacation, even if it is camping at the beach. Cheerios for breakfast. The stuff of life, of childhood, can seem modest, but even the little things cost something. And without them, it can change a person for the rest of their life. When you’re growing up, you don’t know what it takes to have those things, but without them, part of childhood can be lost, diluted.
When you have a child, you make a commitment. A commitment to show them the world, to celebrate the day they were born every year, to make sure they learn their ABCs, to get them to their soccer games and learn how to be a team player, and teach them how to ride a bike. Get them their first cellphone (and several to follow), their first computer. The dresses for prom and school dances, and the old but safe first car to learn to drive in. To put the Cheerios on the table. Every morning, every day, day after day, 365 days a year. Fate, however, may have something different in mind. Fate may have decided that you won’t be there for graduation. You may not be there for Prom, or Homecoming. You may not get to see the braces come off, or go on. You may not get to celebrate the victory at the Soccer Tournament. You may not even be there for the first day of school, or the day the training wheels come off, but all of those things should still happen. They need to happen. Even if you’re not there. They’ll miss you, they’ll cry sometimes when memories of you come flooding back. But if you took your commitment seriously, really meant it rather than just saying it, they’ll also thank you. Because a real commitment is one you keep, even if you’re not there to see it fulfilled.
None of us know what morning will be our last, and though we like to think that it is far off, for some that morning was this morning. Life insurance is a rare opportunity to keep those most precious of commitments if our morning should come too soon. If affords a child the chance to grieve for their loss in their family home, instead of losing their home. Life won’t be the same for them. They won’t have your hand to hold onto when they’re learning to ride a bike. They won’t see your face before walking into the school for the first time. You won’t be on the sidelines every Saturday cheering them on. You won’t be there to sort through endless racks to find the perfect dress for Homecoming. You won’t pick out that car, the one that’s the right blend of safety, reliability, and price, after they get their driver’s license. Your seat will be empty at graduation, and they’ll have to choose a college without you. But they’ll be able to go to college. They’ll have that first car, that first cell phone, the braces, and the perfect dress. They’ll have new cleats every season (sometimes two), sneakers for gym class, and running shoes for Cross Country. All of those things still need to happen, and understanding that, and taking that commitment seriously, they will happen. Recognizing and using the leverage of life insurance, you can make sure that every morning, day after day, there would be Cheerios for breakfast.
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