November 19, 2013

Dallas Mavericks Star Guard Vince Carter and Sun Life Financial Present $110,000 in Grants & Scholarships to Dallas Nonprofits & Rising Star Students at Pro Basketball Clinic

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and Community Council of Greater Dallas among 16 exceptional organizations across U.S. to receive Sun Life Rising Star Award for commitment to education

Wellesley, MA (November 19, 2013) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) today announced the Dallas recipients of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards. The financial services organization awarded $110,000 in grants and scholarships to two nonprofit community organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and Community Council of Greater Dallas, as well as an exemplary student nominated by each: Charity Garrison and Dominic Bowie.

Dallas Mavericks Guard Vince Carter and basketball legend Sam Perkins helped Sun Life Regional Group Manager Joseph Braley and Sun Life Voluntary Practice Leader Matt Aldridge surprise the winning students at a private basketball clinic at Paul Quinn College where the star guard and Perkins led more than 60 youth from both nonprofits in a variety of basketball drills and games.

The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program provides financial resources to highly-motivated students and nonprofit organizations in large urban school districts committed to encouraging under-served youth to stay in school. The program, now in its fourth year, also promotes the importance of higher education as a means to achieving lifelong financial wellness.

Each Rising Star organization received a $50,000 grant and each student winner received a $5,000 scholarship towards a college education. This year, Sun Life will provide nearly $1 million in grants, scholarships and other resources to outstanding organizations and students in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville and South Florida. By the end of 2013, Sun Life will have invested nearly $4 million to recognize a total of 70 students and 63 nonprofit organizations in 14 U.S. cities, since launching the program in 2010.

“We are proud to invest in America’s 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 is inspiring to see the tireless and selfless dedication of these impressive young adults, and we look forward to following their successes through college and beyond.”

Sun Life continues to support the students following their scholarship awards with various educational events and programs. Each year, Sun Life 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. In 2013 Sun Life sponsored a trip for 17 past award winners to attend and participate in the America’s Promise Alliance “Building a Grad Nation” Summit in Washington D.C. Sun Life served as the first-ever sponsor of the Youth Experience Pre-Conference, which convened more than 100 students from across the country to examine the progress and remaining challenges in the nation’s effort to help more youth graduate high school with the skills necessary to succeed in college and professionally.

In each city, a judging panel comprised of the foremost government officials, community, education and business leaders evaluate the applications and student nominations based on the following criteria:

  1. Nonprofit’s commitment to developing and promoting skills that directly translate to education engagement and matriculation rates for secondary school young under age 21
  2. Nonprofit’s demonstrated partnership with a secondary or post-secondary educational institution
  3. Nonprofit’s documented ability to respond to the needs of specific groups or young people in a matter yielding measurable results
  4. Student nominee’s plan to pursue a post-secondary education, leadership qualities, commitment to his or her community, and a 750-word essay on what they love most about their lives and what they do to protect it

This year’s panel included:

  1. Angela Farley, VP of Public Policy and Education, Dallas Regional Chamber
  2. Scott Gibbs, Senior Vice President, McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc.
  3. Sam Perkins, basketball legend

To help support the program, Sun Life leverages its partnerships with top-tier organizations such as the Boston Celtics and the Miami Dolphins to enhance the student experience and raise awareness about the importance of education in our society’s future.

Dallas’ 2013 Sun Life Rising Star Award winners are:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star (BBBS) provides youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships. BBBS’ vision is that all children achieve success in life. BBBS has served at-risk youth in North Texas since 1927 and is now the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters in the country, serving over 9,000 Texas children annually.

Charity Garrison, Haltom High School

Charity has participated in various community service activities with school groups such as visiting nursing homes and also volunteers with her Big Sister several times a year to help raise money for BBBS. Charity participated in the AVID college prep program at her school, currently takes Advanced Placement classes, and is a current member of the school’s marching band. She has published three books and recently won an award in a community art show for a painting she created.

Community Council of Greater Dallas

The Community Council of Greater Dallas (CCGD) provides leadership in determining priority issues and solutions in the human services arena, convening partners to significantly impact service delivery and increasing awareness of and access to services. The CCGD works with social service organizations, public officials, community leaders and volunteers, to meet and solve challenges that face their clients.

Dominic Bowie, South Oak Cliff High School

Dominic participates in various community service projects at CCGD, and coordinated a food drive-through to distribute groceries from a local church to community members in need. He also volunteered at a hospital, working with children on an arts and crafts project and handed out healthy food to attendees at an annual fitness fest in the local community. Dominic enjoys helping to improve his community and works hard to provide opportunities for others in need.

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. 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.

Media contact:
Keith Gainsboro

SLPC 25448 11/13 (Exp. 11/18)