NEW YORK, May 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), has announced the inaugural winners of Voya Scholars – a scholarship program launched in collaboration with its nonprofit partner, Scholarship America. The five recipients of $10,000 scholarships were announced by Voya's Chairman and CEO Rodney O. Martin, Jr. last night at Scholarship America's 2017 Dreams to Success Awards dinner. The event celebrated students completing their postsecondary degrees, and honored those who have helped students achieve their educational goals.
"At Voya, we know that education and financial literacy are vital to a fulfilling life — to and through retirement," said Martin. "We are proud to partner with Scholarship America, who shares our commitment to educating and empowering young people so that they take control of their future. We are thrilled to celebrate the 2017 Voya Scholars recipients — and to honor the extraordinary individuals and organizations who have contributed to their success."
The inaugural class of Voya Scholars is a group of exceptional students who plan to be enrolled in the 2017–2018 academic year. To be selected, they must exemplify Voya's corporate values and also must have participated previously in a Voya Financial or Voya Foundation charitable program. The winners of the 2017 Voya Scholars program are:
- Daniella Gonzalez – New York, NY
Daniella is a first-generation college student who moved from Columbia to the United States as a child. Daniella struggled with the English language and could barely communicate with her classmates for several years before she discovered math and science, which were not affected by any language barriers. She is currently a student at Cristo Rey High School and soon will attend Princeton University as an Engineering major.
- Emily Cazares – Simsbury, CT
Emily is a previous student of Futures and Options, with a 3.6 grade point average and an interest in social justice. Specifically, she would like to learn more about the relationship of social justice and the arts, and the role of business in the community. Emily plans to attend the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a focus on writing, humanities, psychology and media.
- Jenny Lee – New York, NY
Jenny is a previous beneficiary of Futures and Options and a first-generation college student. She has an entrepreneurial spirit, with a special interest in both finance and human resources. Jenny is proud of her New York roots, and brings that spirit with her each semester to New England, where she attends Boston College as an Economics major.
- Klajdi Qoku – New York, NY
Klajdi was born in Albania as the son of a political prisoner, and his parents instilled in him a strong belief that education is the key to opportunity. A previous beneficiary of Futures and Options, he wants to work in an investment banking or public service role, and is proud of his ability to succeed in academics while working several jobs and helping to support his family. Klajdi is a first-generation college student, currently attending CUNY Baruch College where he majors in Finance.
- Paloma Perez – West Chester, PA
Paloma is a first-generation college student and a previous beneficiary of Chester County Futures. She overcame a traumatic childhood and believes education is crucial to repaying her mom – a single parent – for all the sacrifices she made to raise Paloma. Paloma aspires to be an accountant after college, and to eventually become the CFO of a major company. She currently attends West Chester University where she majors in Accounting and Finance.
The Voya Scholars' model is designed to strengthen Voya Foundation's relationships with the young adults who have benefited from its philanthropic efforts. It also will help the foundation track the achievements of previous program participants. Through Voya Scholars, the foundation will understand better if the students who learned STEM skills in its grade K-8 initiatives — or were empowered to take control of their financial futures in its high school financial literacy programs — retained the knowledge and are putting it to use. This evaluation tool empowers Voya Financial to support exemplary students in pursuing higher education, while gauging the success of its goal to create financially resilient youth.
Voya is providing employee volunteers to help lead the initiative with individuals representing Talent Acquisition, Talent Development, HR, Diversity and Inclusion, Corporate Responsibility and its ongoing businesses. These leaders, the Voya Scholars Selection Committee, determined the scholarship finalists by evaluating the degree to which the students 1) live Voya's corporate values, 2) help the community and 3) excel in their academic and/or professional lives.
Scholarship recipients will be paired with Voya employee mentors, and will be eligible for services like resume help, interview prep, networking and various other opportunities. They also will be considered for future internships and full-time employment.
Cell: (860) 839-1589
About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the area of financial resilience and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit www.voyafoundation.com.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13.6 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2016. The company had $505 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2017. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya's vision is to be America's Retirement Company®. Certified as a "Great Place to Work" by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible and has been recognized as one of the 2017 World's Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, as well as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.
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SOURCE Voya Financial, Inc.