MIAMI, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) and the Miami Dolphins Foundation announced they are accepting applications from South Florida nonprofit organizations that work with at-risk youth to win one of four $50,000 grants that will be distributed in the area, through the Sun Life Rising Star Awards. As part of the application process, each nonprofit will have the opportunity to nominate a student who participates in the organization for a chance to receive a $5,000 scholarship. Sun Life Financial and the Miami Dolphins initially announced the program would be brought to the region as part of the Sun Life Stadium naming rights and sponsorship announcement this past January. Both Sun Life Financial and the Dolphins reiterated their commitment to the program at Fins Weekend during the Kickoff Pairings Party and Team Awards Ceremony on June 3. The program was developed to recognize and provide resources to high school students who have overcome the odds and remained committed to furthering their education and the nonprofit organizations who work on their behalf.
South Florida is one of six areas that the program will visit this year. The awards program will give away a total of $1,000,000 in grants and scholarships in 2010. South Florida-area applications will be accepted through July 23, 2010 and can be downloaded from www.sunlifestadium.com. Applications received from the South Florida area will be reviewed by an independent judging panel consisting of "rising stars" from the Miami Dolphins, local community leaders and educators. Judges include Miami Dolphins Limited Partners Venus and Serena Williams, Jeanette Sparano, the wife of Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano, Dolphins wide receivers Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo, Society Scene Publisher Stacy Ostrau and local philanthropist Ada Cole.
"At Sun Life Financial, we believe improving educational opportunities for our nation's youth is a top priority, which is why we decided to make an investment in the lives of exceptional students and the organizations that support their educational and personal development," said Wes Thompson, President, Sun Life Financial U.S. "In addition to grants and scholarships, the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program will provide training, education, and other resources to support South Florida nonprofits and students."
"The Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Financial partnership extends beyond the walls of Sun Life Stadium," said Mike Dee, Miami Dolphins CEO. "We share a passion for philanthropy and a deep commitment to giving back to the South Florida community. The Sun Life Rising Stars program symbolizes the "team first" mentality that we embrace on the field as the grants are focused on non-profit organizations rather than solely individuals. We believe in the team and people that foster success in the classroom, and we are proud that the Sun Life Rising Stars program is the education cornerstone program of Miami Dolphins Foundation."
To be considered for funding, an organization must be designated as nonprofit and work with children under the age of 21 in the areas of education engagement and/or increasing high school graduation rates. In addition to grant money, each organization will receive training, materials and the curriculum necessary to develop and provide financial education for the youth in its program.
Organizations will also have the opportunity to nominate one extraordinary high school senior who is actively involved in the program and:
- Plans to pursue post-secondary education (i.e. college, trade school)
- Exhibits leadership qualities beyond their years
- Participates in community activities
National Award Winners
All winning organizations will be automatically considered for an additional $50,000 grant to further their mission. Winning students will be invited to enter an essay competition where one student will be selected as the National Sun Life Rising Star award winner and receive a scholarship worth up to $50,000 payable over four years. The national award winners will be announced in late 2010.
For more information on the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, 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. As of March 31, 2010, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $428 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
About The Miami Dolphins Foundation
The Miami Dolphins Foundation is devoted to providing and supporting signature education, health, youth athletic programs and volunteer activities that inspire and engage communities throughout Florida.
SOURCE The Miami Dolphins Foundation