November 21, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers Star Jordan Hill and Sun Life Financial Present $110,000 in Grants & Scholarships to Los Angeles Nonprofits & Rising Star Students at Surprise Ceremonies

College Summit Southern California and PF Bresee Foundation among 16 exceptional organizations across U.S. to receive Sun Life Rising Star Award for commitment to education

Los Angeles (November 21, 2013) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) today announced the Los Angeles recipients of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards. The financial services organization awarded $110,000 in grants and scholarships to two nonprofit community organizations: College Summit Southern California and PF Bresee Foundation, as well as an exemplary student nominated by each: Andrea Tabares and Luz Ticas.

Lakers star Jordan Hill and basketball legend AC Green helped Sun Life Regional Group Manager Bradley Fleiss and Sun Life Voluntary Benefits Practice Leader James Mattison surprise the winning students at two separate area awards presentations. The winners were offered a pair of tickets to a future Lakers game this year, and also recognized at a private basketball clinic at the PF Bresee Foundation where Hill and Green led more than 30 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 achieve 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 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. Karen A. Clark, Senior Vice President, Marketing, City National Bank
  2. AC Green, Basketball Legend
  3. Jaleesa Hazaard, Nonprofit executive
  4. Monique Kelly, Senior Account Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
  5. Michael Manigault, Commissioner, City of Los Angeles Commission on Community and Family Services
  6. Patricia Shields, Partner, Black Dot LLC

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.

Los Angeles’ 2013 Sun Life Rising Star Award winners are:

College Summit Southern California

College Summit’s mission is to increase the college enrollment rates of youth from low-income communities. They envision a day when all students will experience high school not as an endpoint but a “launch pad” to college and career success. Since taking root in Southern California in 2002, more than 14,000 students from low-income communities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area have benefited. This year, the program is serving nearly 3,500 youth at 10 high schools across Los Angeles County.

Student Recipient: Andrea Tabares, Cesar Chavez Learning Academies/Arts Theater Entertainment School (ArTES)

Andrea is contributing to the improvement of life in her community by creating a culture of shared responsibility, encouraging peers to work for important causes, and also to work together. She has contributed to supporting cancer research by forming a team for the local Relay for Life. As a College Summit Peer Leader, Andrea helps her fellow seniors navigate the complex college-going process, including the personal statement, the application, the FAFSA, and more. As a member of the Leaders For Change (LFC) group, Andrea partners with other student leaders on campus to learn mediation strategies, share community resources, and come up with solutions to challenges that the her campus is facing.

PF Bresee Foundation

The Bresee Foundation’s mission is to provide comprehensive afterschool programs and family services that equip young people to pursue their education, achieve their full potential, and serve others. Bresee envisions a central Los Angeles community transformed by character-driven, creative, college-educated Bresee Foundation alumni. Bresee serves youth and families in its neighborhood facing multiple socio-economic barriers, hindering their academic and personal success.

Student Recipient: Luz Ticas, Edward R. Roybal Learning Complex

Luz was elected as the Student Body President for her school, serving her peers and school community by coordinating regular activities that inspire youth to be interested in business careers. Luz also volunteers at two local elementary schools to tutor and participates in the Los Angeles Youth Leadership Council, a collaboration of local youth from various non-profits and schools who work to improve their community. She hopes to pursue a degree in environmental science and business management and use her education to give back to her family and community.


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 25452 11/13 (Exp. 11/18)