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Scholarships Give Tomorrow’s Leaders a Head Start

If the recipients of this year’s top three WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarships® are any indication, the future is in good hands. The top three recipients, chosen for their volunteerism, patriotism and academics, all plan to make the world a better place after graduation.


Following Her Dreams, Shaping Lives

Isabella D. of Sarver, PA is the 2020 recipient of the $25,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship, which will help her fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher like her mother.

“Children deserve the best in order to blossom into fine, young adults,” Isabella said in her scholarship application essay, “Making a difference in the lives of children and inspiring them to achieve their own personal best are two of my greatest aspirations.”

Isabella plans to attend Butler County Community College and pursue an associate’s degree in primary education. She then plans to transfer to Slippery Rock University for a bachelor’s degree in primary education.

“I cannot wait to inspire young children to always love learning,” Isabella said. “I will readily accept the challenge of meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of every student skipping through the door to my own classroom.”

It’s a relief to turn over the possibilities of tomorrow to young people like Isabella and give them a boost up the higher education ladder. It’s equally comforting to know that Isabella is helping her community in the present.

Additionally, Isabella is active in her church, mentoring and volunteering through the youth group. She also spends time volunteering at Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company, where her father is a paramedic firefighter. She waits tables at fish dinners, judges a pet parade and collects admissions at the fire department’s carnival. In addition, Isabella assists elderly widows with household tasks.

“Making a difference in the world is a priority for me,” Isabella says. “As an active member in my community, I make a conscious effort to give back. The older generation set a good example for me, now it’s my turn.”


Community Involvement Guide $20,000 & $10,000 Recipients

Matt S. of Cadiz, KY, was awarded the $20,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship. He plans to attend Murray State University to pursue engineering graphics and design. Matt’s involvement in high school clubs and youth leadership has shown him the value of community involvement. It has also helped him realize the importance of community improvement. In the future, he hopes to design things that make everyday life better for people.

Cody R. of Soldier, IA, received the $10,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship. He plans to attend Western Iowa Tech Community College and work toward a degree in mechanical engineering technology.

Cody also won the 2017 WoodmenLife Youth Fraternal Spirit Award and has been heavily involved in volunteering for several years. His experiences have taught him the importance of being a positive force in the community. He wants to continue helping people after college by designing mechanical equipment to improve the lives of others.


3,000+ Scholarships and Counting

Since its start in 2017, the WoodmenLife scholarship program has awarded 3,097 scholarships worth $1.78 million, including 625 scholarships this year. To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must be a member1 of WoodmenLife. To see all the winners, including those in your region, visit

If you know students who deserve a chance at a Focus Forward Scholarship – like this year’s recipients – find out how they can become eligible. You also can talk to a WoodmenLife Representative near you about other extras that come with WoodmenLife membership.

  1. An individual becomes a member by joining our shared commitment to family, community and country, and by purchasing a WoodmenLife product.

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WoodmenLife was founded in 1890 as a not for profit. The organization gives back to its nearly 700,000 customers, who join together in a commitment to family, community and country. With a legacy of financial stability, WoodmenLife offers quality life insurance and retirement products. To learn more about WoodmenLife, visit