The U.S. Business Group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF, TSX:SLF) and the Miami Dolphins today announced they are accepting Sun Life Rising Star Award grant applications from nonprofit organizations in the South Florida area that advocate for youth from under-served communities. Applications are available now at sunliferisingstar.com. The deadline for submissions is June 7.
Sun Life will award four winning organizations with a $50,000 grant, who will each nominate an exemplary student to receive a $5,000 Sun Life Rising Star scholarship towards financing a college education. The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program is the educational cornerstone program of the Miami Dolphins Foundation. Later this year, Sun Life will surprise winning students with their scholarships at a special award presentation led by prominent members of the South Florida community. Past appearances by the Dolphins have included CEO Mike Dee and Dolphins current players, alumni and cheerleaders. Nationally, the program has included appearances by Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, and Philadelphia 76ers star Lavoy Allen, as well as support from Sun Life partner the Boston Celtics.
The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, now in its fourth year, provides financial resources to students and nonprofit organizations in large urban school districts that are committed to encouraging under-served youth to continue their education as a means to achieve life-long financial wellness. This year, the program will award grants and scholarships in seven markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville and South Florida. Through 2013, Sun Life Financial will have committed nearly $4 million to 70 students and 63 nonprofit organizations in 14 cities across the country.
“Sun Life is committed to improving the lives of under-served youth and helping communities understand the benefits of, and connection between education and financial wellness, empowering them to protect what they love most in their lives,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “We’re proud to help contribute to the future of youth throughout the country through our Rising Star Awards program.”
To be considered for a Sun Life Rising Star Award grant, organizations must have 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status, promote skills that directly translate to educational success in high school to students under the age of 21 and be aligned with a secondary or post-secondary educational institution. In each city, a judging panel comprised of the foremost government officials, community, education and business leaders will evaluate the applications and student nominations.
Student nominees must be high school seniors actively involved in an organization that shares the Sun Life Rising Star Awards’ mission; they must also plan to pursue post-secondary education, exhibit leadership qualities, and demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities. Nominated students are required to submit a 750-word essay on what they love most about their lives and what they do to protect it.