Press releases

November 09, 2014

Sun Life Financial Presents $110,000 in Grants & Scholarships to Tulsa/Oklahoma City area Nonprofits & Students at Thunder Pre-game Ceremony

Sun Life executives surprise winning students Eric McGee and Kamesha Boykin with scholarships; Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County and Margaret Hudson Program, Inc. among 12 exceptional organizations across U.S. honored with Sun Life Rising Star Awards for commitment to education

Wellesley, MA (November 9, 2014) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial today announced the Tulsa/Oklahoma City recipients of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards and presented $110,000 in grants and scholarships to two nonprofit community organizations and an exemplary student nominated by each nonprofit. The 2014 Tulsa/Oklahoma City Sun Life Rising Star Awards recipients are:

  • Nonprofit winners: Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County & Margaret Hudson Program, Inc. (Tulsa)
  • Student winners: Eric McGee & Kamesha Boykin

Prior to the Oklahoma City Thunder game on Nov. 9, Sun Life Employee Benefits Representative Daniel Lucas surprised each winning student with a $5,000 scholarship for college, and recognized each nonprofit organization with a $50,000 grant at a special presentation at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with assistance from the Thunder.

The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students and education-based nonprofit organizations that support them in our nation’s under-served metropolitan areas. Now in its fifth year, Sun Life recognizes the remarkable achievements of all Sun Life Rising Star Awards recipients, and celebrates these exceptional students and organizations for their continued dedication to education.

This year, Sun Life will provide $660,000 in grants, scholarships and other resources to outstanding organizations and students in Boston, Nashville, San Francisco, South Florida and the Tulsa/Oklahoma City area. By the end of 2014, Sun Life Financial will have committed nearly $5 million to 86 students and 79 nonprofit organizations in 16 different cities across the country.

“We’re committed to investing in the health of our communities through initiatives like our Sun Life Rising Star Awards program,” said Dan Fishbein, President, Sun Life Financial U.S. “Today’s student scholarship recipients have overcome great obstacles to achieve success. These remarkable individuals and the nonprofit organizations that comprise this year’s class of Sun Life Rising Star Award recipients inspire us all and we look forward to seeing the positive impact that the collective efforts of all our Rising Star recipients will have on their local communities and beyond.”

Sun Life also invites Rising Star recipients to apply for summer internship opportunities at its U.S. headquarters in Wellesley, Massachusetts following their freshman year of college. The goal is to provide a substantial, meaningful work experience that lays the foundation for future professional success.

Judging panels comprised of government officials, community, education and business leaders evaluate the applications and student nominations in the Tulsa/Oklahoma City area 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 a post-secondary education, leadership qualities, commitment to his or her community, and a 750-word essay.

This year’s panel included:

  • Melissa Burrup, Ameribank Group Benefits
  • Summer Brown, Dillingham Benefits
  • Dom Dominic, Dillingham Benefits
  • Dr. Tami Moore, Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University

Tulsa/Oklahoma City’s 2014 Sun Life Rising Star Award winners are:

Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County (Oklahoma City, OK)
Founded in 1995, the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County (BGC) exists to inspire and enable young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. They provide programs to encourage educational achievement and college or work readiness, promote family stability, provide positive relationships, and address other tools for breaking the cycle of poverty in their community.

Eric McGee (Northwest Classen)
Through participation in Boys & Girls Clubs of America programs, Eric has been involved in various community service activities. He is a tremendous leader and excels in high school athletics, and is one of the leaders on his high school basketball team. Eric also communicates the importance of higher education to the Club’s younger students and serves as a regular tutor to youth.

Margaret Hudson Program, Inc. (Tulsa, OK)
The Margaret Hudson Program (MHP) provides pregnant and parenting teen mothers an opportunity to continue their academic education with the support of childcare and comprehensive social and heath services. In addition, the program provides adolescent pregnancy prevention education to its students and their families.

Kamesha Boykin (Broken Arrow Public Schools)
Kamesha Boykin is a member of the Margaret Hudson Program student leadership team, where she speaks at schools to other teenagers on the topic of teenage pregnancy. As a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America member, Kamesha participated in providing gifts to senior citizens in a local nursing home. She also assisted in collecting items for the local community food drive.

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. The Sun Life Financial group of companies operates under the “Sun Life Financial” name strictly as a marketing name and no legal significance is expressed or implied. 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, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Accident, Critical Illness, Dental, Disability, Life, and Stop-Loss Insurance Products. 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. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contact:
Keith Gainsboro, Elevate Communications, 617-895-7905, kgainsboro@elevatecom.com

SLPC 26255 11/14 (Exp. 11/19)