The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSX:SLF) today announced Phoenix’s Sun Life Rising Star Award recipients, providing $110,000 in grants and scholarships to two community organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley and New Pathways for Youth (formerly Phoenix Youth at Risk) as well as an exemplary student nominated by each: Gilbert High School’s Nick Groth, and Metro Tech High School’s Diana Gutierrez.
Phoenix Suns front-office executives helped Sun Life Group Sales Manager Mindy Schulz surprise the students with their scholarships at a special presentation prior to the Suns vs. Bulls game at US Airways Center. The winners were also treated to an on-court photo and were recognized at halftime for their achievements.
The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program recognizes nonprofits that redress low high school graduation rates and honors outstanding students who have overcome significant obstacles to succeed. The program also promotes financial literacy as a means to achieve life-long financial wellness and stability. Each winning organization receives a $50,000 grant and selects an exemplary student they work with to receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Since the program’s inception, Sun Life has granted nearly $3 million to 54 students and 47 nonprofit organizations across the country. This year, Sun Life expanded the program to seven cities from five in 2011, and will award grants and scholarships to students and nonprofits in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and South Florida.
“We are making an investment in our youth, our education system and the workforce of tomorrow through our Sun Life Rising Star Awards program,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “It’s a privilege to reward these incredible students who have persevered in the face of adversity and stayed committed to furthering their education. We believe they need only opportunity and support to realize their full potential.”