In addition to monetary support, the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program will provide winning organizations with educational curriculum and resources to increase financial literacy among students. Sun Life recently partnered with dfree®, a movement developed by Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr. to galvanize the public to overcome the culture of debt and attain financial self-sufficiency. Sun Life and dfree® will provide the students and nonprofits with Breaking Free Workbooks, which includes interactive activities and tools to encourage debt-free living.A four-person judging panel comprised of Phoenix’s foremost government officials, community and business leaders selected the Sun Life Rising Star Awards winners based on the following criteria:
- Nonprofit’s commitment to developing and promoting skills that directly translate to educational engagement and matriculation rates for secondary school youth under the age of 21
- Nonprofit’s demonstrated partnership with a secondary or post-secondary educational institution
- Nonprofit’s documented ability to respond to the needs of specific groups of youth in a manner yielding measurable results
- Student nominee’s plan to pursue post-secondary education, leadership qualities, commitment to his or her community, and a 750-word essay on how financial education contributes to future success
New Pathways for Youth (formerly Phoenix Youth at Risk) – New Pathways for Youth, formerly known as Phoenix Youth at Risk, makes new futures possible for area children and youth through mentoring and value-driven programs. They strive to ensure that all youth achieve their full potential. Through the structured mentoring programs, New Pathways for Youth helps at-risk and homeless children and teens learn to dream again, and make those dreams a reality.Student Recipient: Diana Gutierrez, Metro Tech High School Diana is a math tutor at Metro Tech High School and volunteers at Mitchell Elementary School (her alma mater) and Golden Gate Community Center. Diana ranks third in her class of 612 with a 3.842 unweighted/4.526 weighted GPA and has been accepted to the National Honor Society. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and intermediate in American Sign Language, is a member of Arizona Quest for Kids, Be A Leader Program, the American Sign Language Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and the Science Club. The judging panel included: CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc. Vice President Mike Barberio; Willis Senior Vice President Joanne Mizell; City of Phoenix, Office of the Mayor Senior Policy Advisor Dr. Trino Sandoval; and Vernon L. Slaughter, PC Principal/Entertainment Attorney Vernon Slaughter, Esq. For more information on the Sun Life Rising Star Awards, please visit www.sunliferisingstar.com. About Sun Life Financial Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including group and voluntary life, disability, dental and stop-loss insurance products. These products are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada in all states except New York. In New York, these products are issued by Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com/us. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.