November 07, 2012

Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca, Star Guard Avery Bradley, and Sun Life Financial Present $110,000 in Grants and Scholarships at Celtics Pre-game Ceremony

City Year Boston and Sociedad Latina honored for commitment to education at TD Garden before Celtics vs. Wizards game

Wellesley, Mass. (November 7, 2012) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) today announced Boston’s Sun Life Rising Star Award recipients, providing $110,000 in grants and scholarships to two community organizations City Year Boston and Sociedad Latina and an exemplary student nominated by each: Jeremiah E. Burke High School’s Terel Andrews and East Boston High School’s Vickie Miranda.

Boston Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca and guard Avery Bradley helped Sun Life Vice President of Human Resources Sean Woodroffe, Voluntary Benefits Distribution National Sales Manager Tom Gilligan and Regional Vice President Mike Joyce surprise the students with their scholarships at a special presentation prior to the Celtics vs. Wizards game at TD Garden. Sun Life has been a sponsor of the Boston Celtics since 2010.

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.

The winners and their families were treated to meet and greets with Pagliuca and Bradley and watched the game from a luxury suite. Pagliuca served on this year’s Rising Star judging panel along with other prominent local business and community members.

“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.”

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.

“It is an honor to join Sun Life in recognizing these incredible students and community organizations for their tireless efforts and commitment to bettering the lives of under-served youth in Boston,” said Pagliuca.

An eight-person judging panel comprised of Boston’s foremost sports, education, community, media 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

2012 Boston Sun Life Rising Stars:

City Year Boston City Year unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. As tutors, mentors and role models, these diverse young leaders help children stay in school and on track, and transform schools and communities across the United States, and through international affiliates in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, England. In Boston, 265 corps members serve more than 11,000 students in 21 of the city’s lowest performing schools during the 2012-2013 school year.

Student Recipient: Terel Andrews, Jeremiah E. Burke High School

Terel is a leader, setting an outstanding example for peers through his commitment to attendance, studies and football. He impressed teachers and City Year staff by embracing academic challenges and maintaining high grades. Last spring he traveled to Cape Verde to volunteer as an English tutor for younger students and helped paint their school. When he returned to Boston he organized a campaign to collect and send school supplies to the children he’d worked with. Terel plans to apply to colleges in Massachusetts and Virginia.

Sociedad Latina Sociedad Latina Since 1968, Sociedad Latina has worked in partnership with Latino youth and families to close the achievement gap, end inequity in education, and disrupt destructive cycles of poverty in their community. Through a culturally proficient youth development model, “Pathways to Success,” Sociedad Latina pioneers new and innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing Latino youth today, supporting positive youth development from age 8-21, creating a community that supports young people, and training youth to advocate for themselves and their communities. 

Student Recipient: Vickie Miranda, East Boston High School

Vickie Miranda is a Youth Community Organizer at Sociedad Latina, where her student team has interviewed hundreds of Boston students about their cultural needs, created a film and presented findings to the Boston City Council, School Committee and superintendent. She is a strong advocate for English Language Learners, and translates for members of her own family. She has a strong interest in health and for the past three summers worked at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She also sits on the Youth Advisory Board of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Vickie plans to pursue women’s health as a first-generation college student.


In addition to Pagliuca, the judging panel included: WCVB-TV Anchor Liz Brunner; Consulate General of Canada in Boston Media & Political Affairs Officer Lisa Carrie; NESN Sports Anchor Jamison Coyle; New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps; Boston Globe Publisher Chris Mayer; Educational Leadership & Higher Education, Boston College Lynch School of Education Assistant Professor Heather Rowan-Kenyon, PhD.; and Boston Centers for Youth and Family Deputy Chief of Human Services, City of Boston Adalberto Teixeira. For more information on the Sun Life Rising Star Awards, please visit


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 Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About the Boston Celtics

A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, and have won NBA titles in three different eras. In addition, 32 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002 the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information on the Celtics, log on to

Media contact: 
Keith Gainsboro, elevate, 617-895-7905,


SLPC 24593 (11/12) Exp. 11/17