My Grandfather, My Father, Me: Prepared for the Future – Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Every semester JRC Insurance Group awards a $1,000 scholarship to the college student or high school senior that writes a compelling essay about why every family’s primary income earner should have life insurance.


Jace Griffith – JRC Insurance Group Scholarship Winner – Fall 2017

This semester, after reading through almost 100 essays, we have selected Jace Griffith as the winner of our Fall 2017 Scholarship Contest. Excellent job Jace!

Jace is in her first year of studying at the Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. LET’S GO RAVENS!

We’ve posted Jace’s scholarship winning essay, “My Grandfather, My Father, Me: Prepared for the Future,” below:


My Grandfather, My Father, Me: Prepared for the Future

It’s homework night – the night where I, in my middle school foolishness, put off all my papers and projects until the last possible minute. Tonight, it’s a science project, and after several hours of work, I am quickly tiring of the assignment.

My dad’s helping me, and he can see I’m getting bored. As a nuclear engineer, he probably feels some pressure to scientifically inspire me, and so he pulls a tiny vial out of his pocket.

“Want to see something cool?” he asks.

I lean forward, instantly more awake. Inside the vial is what appears to be several thick gray hairs.

“They’re microfibers,” he explains, shaking the sturdy little lines around in their container. “A co-worker and I designed them. They’re strong and durable, and they can withstand thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. We don’t know what we’ll do with them yet – maybe we could build light, effective armor, or create pipelines that can be heated to clean the water that passes through them. We’ve even talked about starting our own business and selling them. Who knows?”

I grin at the little vial, impressed. This is why they pay my dad the big bucks. He’s smart, hard-working, innovative, and a great project manager. Most importantly, he loves and protects his family.

My dad has life insurance. It’s not because he’s tied in with the mob or has cancer or expects at any moment to be hit by a car – it’s just that he’s looking out for us and preparing for every possibility. He’s ensuring our future. Because if something happened to him and we had nothing to fall back on, we would be left floundering in the event of a disaster – like an unexpected heart attack.

After all, that’s what happened to my father’s father when he was only forty years old. My dad was just beginning college. My grandfather had survived bullets and bombs in the Korean War, but it was high blood pressure and a heart attack that took him from his family so early in his life. Luckily, he had life insurance, and so does my dad – because even though my father isn’t a soldier and doesn’t do anything extraordinarily dangerous, he inherited the high blood pressure. Even if he hadn’t, we would still live in a world where accidents happen. That’s why he takes steps to provide for us even in the event of a tragedy.

As a college student, I am reminded every day that I am lucky to have the chance to study and keep my future looking bright. College is one area where life insurance cannot be taken lightly. It is because of the hard work and careful planning of my parents that we were able to afford college for my older sister and my older brother, and now, that we can afford college for me. If something terrible happened and a family like ours was left without their primary breadwinner, a student like me could lose the chance to be a student. Life gets significantly harder for young people without a source of income from their parents, and it gets even harder without a college degree. Life insurance can help the children of the deceased to achieve education and find better jobs to provide for themselves, like my dad was able to do with the help of life insurance following the early and unexpected death of my grandfather. Life insurance is an investment in the future: a future where your spouse is cared for, your children can attend college, and the generations that follow you will have better chances to succeed and live happy lives. It can’t be underestimated. It can’t be ignored.

I’m no longer a seventh-grader. I’m finally a college student, and I no longer put off all of my homework until the last minute. I’ve grown more mature and a little wiser. I’ve realized that it’s best to safely plan for the future instead of relying on last-minute attempts that might not be enough. In the same way, I know that it’s best to have life insurance, and play it safe, instead of relying on chance to provide for the people who need, trust, and love you.

When you lose someone you love, the last thing you want to worry about is money. You want to be with your family, grieve, commemorate, and continue your life, remembering all the love and happy times that you still carry with you, instead of stressing about finances. If something were to happen to my dad – if he had a heart attack, or his car spun off the road, or a thousand other terrifying possibilities – he would still be taking care of us. Between my mom’s autoimmune disorder, five kids, and myself in college, life insurance is not only a smart idea, but necessary for my family in the case of a disaster.

I’ll say it again – my father’s most important characteristic is that he loves and protects his family. One of the ways he does that is through life insurance. You don’t have to be a nuclear engineer to understand that life insurance is a vital part of investing in the future of your family and ensuring that even in the worst-case scenario – be it a bullet in a war to a heart attack at the age of forty – you have a way to care for the people you love.

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Cliff Pendell

VP of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
Cliff is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder at JRC. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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