The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education has picked the winners of its LIFE Lessons College Scholarship Program.

Contest organizers opened the contest to students affected by the deaths of parents. Participants were asked to submit essays or videos describing how the deaths affected their lives.

LIFE, Arlington, Va., awarded a total of 25 scholarships.

The $5,000 grand prize in the essay category went to Tracy Basden of Lima, Pa., and the $5,000 grand prize in the video category went to Morgan Snyder of Horseheads, N.Y.

Basden’s mother died when she was 4, and her father died before she finished high school.

Because her parents had no life insurance, she had to drop out of high school to support her brother when her father died.

She earned a GED and hopes to use the LIFE scholarship to attend nursing school, LIFE says.

Snyder’s father died when Snyder was 11.

“I am so thankful that my parents chose to purchase life insurance,” Snyder says in her video.

Snyder says her mother was able to pay for her father’s funeral and pay off student loans because her father had owned life insurance.