Meet Julia Gibson: 2021 PFL Scholarship Recipient
Hi! My name is Julia Gibson, and I am so thankful to be one of the 2021 Prepared for Life scholarship recipients. I am so grateful to the entire Lutzie 43 Foundation for this opportunity and consideration for this scholarship. But more than that, I consider myself as more than just a recipient, but as an ambassador for the foundation and Phillip’s legacy.
I grew up in the Lassiter community all my life. Since kindergarten, I have watched Lassiter graduates go off to do amazing things for this community and for the world. When Phillip passed away, it hit my community hard. Phillip was very active in many activities throughout the Lassiter community and touched the lives of many of the people I had grown up with. He had made such a big impact. Phillip inspired me to try to make a similar impression on my community by taking on leadership roles, and overall striving to be an exemplar citizen for my community. This manifested itself in being active in multiple clubs on campus, including holding fundraisers for Lutzie 43 with Sources of Strength, the suicide prevention and mental health organization at Lassiter. It only felt right wearing orange and blue on Lutzie Field while raising money for such an amazing cause.
All of this came just two years before I lost my own father to alcoholism. My loss gave me even more reason to be an ambassador for drunk driving and reckless actions from alcohol. I wanted to be considered by my peers as one who arose from grief and grew from it. I wanted to guide and teach young adults the dangers of alcohol through my own experiences. That’s when I really felt connected to the message of the foundation and wanted to become more active and involved. I felt that my goals were best met in collaboration with the Lutzie 43 Foundation, having listened to multiple of Mr. Mike’s school assemblies throughout middle school and high school, I thought that was the perfect place to start.
Since the beginning of my senior year, when I learned about the Lutzie 43 scholarship, I was immediately intrigued. I thought this would make for the perfect opportunity to further share my story and help inspire young adults to make conscious decisions about drinking and driving. More than just the scholarship funds, I was eager to take on the responsibility of being a representative of the foundation, and a champion of Phillip’s legacy. I deeply appreciated the conscious efforts that Mr. Mike Lutzenkirchen has put into this foundation and all of the resources the foundation has developed to aid this next generation in such a big way, through the Lutzie 43 curriculum, their many fundraising events and Mr. Mike’s talks with teens all over the country about Phillip’s story and the foundation’s message. I feel confident being on the road with this next generation of knowledgeable drivers.
In the fall, I will be attending the University of Georgia, where I hope to continue to exemplify the foundation’s values and to be an ambassador on campus. Even more than that, I want to be an example of responsible driving, and conscious decision making, fundamental aspects of my personal moral code. Especially in college, it can be extremely easy to make the wrong decisions. Phillip helps us to remember that a split-second decision could cost us our lives. I hope to show my peers through my own actions what it means to me to be a responsible driver. Throughout my senior year, as many of my peers know, I was torn between attending Auburn University and UGA. In finally deciding on Georgia, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to expand Phillip’s legacy to Athens, and help develop a foundation for Lutzie 43 Foundation at UGA. This foundation should be available to as many young drivers as possible, and I hope over the next four years to help their UGA portion flourish, as I am ready and open to working alongside foundation members to help organize events and to really make Phillip’s message known throughout UGA as it has been for me throughout high school at Lassiter.