Meet Luke O’Malley, a 2023 PFL Scholarship Winner
Winning the Prepared for Life (PFL) Scholarship is a monumental accomplishment for me. I am honored and blessed to have received a distinguished scholarship such as the PFL Scholarship. It is humbling to know that I am joining many other worthy recipients who have high character, strong resumes and stellar academic careers.
As the youngest kid in my family, I watched my two older sisters graduate from high school and go on to life in college and adulthood. I visited them on campus and saw them take on challenges as adults, which gave my life a perspective that other kids my age do not always get. I think that is why the Lutzie 43 Foundation‘s message struck such a chord with me. My sister went to Lassiter High School with Philip and his death was such a pivotal moment, where life changed in a blink for a family that was beloved in the community. I was much younger, but knowing that Philip went to the same church and played on the same football field that I played on at Lassiter, created a connection that I am proud to foster as a PFL Scholarship winner.
One lesson that I learned throughout applying for the PFL Scholarship was the importance of taking time before getting behind the wheel and driving. This is paramount in today’s world where there are countless distractions that can cause an accident in a split second. This is why I took the 43 Key Seconds Safe Driving Pledge since it is my duty and responsibility to take care of myself and others on the road. Taking the 43 Key Seconds when I get behind the wheel puts me in a safe position that allows me to focus solely on driving instead of outside factors. The idea of taking those extra moments is applicable to so many things as we leave the comfort of our homes and step out into our adult lives. We will face many challenges and opportunities, and be challenged to make good decisions. Taking those 43 Key Seconds gives us the time to discern and to choose paths that lead us toward possibilities and potential.
I am proud to be welcomed into the Lutzie 43 Foundation family, and I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with members of Philips family. The experiences of volunteering for the Lutzie 43 Foundation Road Race as well as the connection through the Lassiter football program has allowed me to get to know Mr. Mike Lutzenkirchen and the story of Philip’s life. Philip’s ability as a leader in society is an example that many can follow and should know. Learning about Philip’s life in the 43 Lessons to Legacy curriculum helped me model myself in Philip’s image, because I was able to learn key lessons such as being accountable for my actions and available for others, especially when I am in a leadership position.
As I close the high school chapter of my life, I will be taking on new challenges as a member of the class of 2027 at the United States Naval Academy. I know that I will face times where things will be difficult, times where I will have to be accountable even when no one is watching. I think Mr. Lutzenkirchen has been trying to tell us, and show us through the PFL Scholarship, that we have to develop these muscles: the ones that build our character, that help us to pause, to find the right answer, and to be fully present as we drive, as we live and as we lead. I am grateful that the Lutzenkirchen family chose to pay Philip’s life forward. Countless lives have been changed by the messages of the Lutzie 43 Foundation. I am grateful to be one of them, and I will also work to pay it forward.