Three Lessons, from Dad
Father's wish for son comes true, here's what it was...
Prentiss Bullard of Atlanta, Georgia grew up knowing three things:
- Treat people with respect.
- When life gets you down, laugh.
- A college degree is a must.
"I learned it all from my dad," smiled Prentiss. "He's a people person, and that rubbed off on me. His dream, for me to pursue higher education, has too." Instead of going to college, Prentiss’s dad joined the workforce, serving as the primary breadwinner for Prentiss and his mother. "Dad taught me the value of hardwork, and always reminded me to stay in school," said Prentiss. "He wanted me to go farther than he did."
The years passed. The Bullard family kept busy. Life was happy. Then, in 2016, everything turned upside down. “I was walking to school when I got an urgent call from my mom,” said Prentiss. "I’ll never forget her words: “Your dad’s been hit by a car.”
"We rushed to the hospital. Dad's injuries were so severe. He passed away a short time later." Prentiss Bullard senior was just 49 years old.
With grieving hearts, Prentiss and his mother were left to figure out how to move forward. But without an adequate life insurance plan, questions about how to pay for bills, make rent, or even plan for college remained unanswered. “We hardly had time to process everything,” said Prentiss. “It was so stressful. On top of it all, I was worried I might not be able to go to school.”
Prentiss got a job and started applying for scholarships, including the Life Lessons Scholarship from the nonprofit, Life Happens. With the support of State Farm, Life Happens helps educate families with insurance and financial planning. “I did everything I could to take the load off my mom, while also making sure my dad’s wish – that I go to college – came true.” In 2018 Prentiss got a phone call that left him beaming from ear to ear...
“I learned I was the grand prize winner of the Life Lessons scholarship. I was thrilled! The happiness I felt that day, I still feel now. My life is changed.”
Today, Prentiss is a student at George Washington University, pursuing a degree in fine arts. “Whenever I’m taking a test, doing homework, or studying for exams – I think of dad. I think of how much he and my mom love me. I want to make them proud, so I work hard. I’m aspiring to be a photojournalist. The opportunity to go to college is truly a gift.”
Prentiss continues to live out the lessons his father taught him. He says they’re lessons everyone should remember. And, there’s one more piece of advice he wants to share:
“Protect the ones you love, make sure they’re provided for with a life insurance plan. Everyone should make this a priority,” said Prentiss. “Life has a lot of twists and turns. Accidents happen. Knowing you’re covered means peace of mind - so you can keep enjoying your journey.”
“These stories remind us all of the pivotal role life insurance plays in providing financial protection to family and loved ones. We are grateful to these students for sharing their experiences and we hope their stories inspire others to protect their loved ones for the unexpected through adequate life insurance coverage.”