Two outstanding Los Angeles area students Andrea Tabares and Luz Ticas were surprised when Lakers Forward Jordan Hill, along with Sun Life Regional Group Manager Bradley Fleiss and Sun Life Voluntary Benefits Practice Leader James Mattison surprised them and their supporting nonprofit organizations College Summit Southern California and PF Bresee Foundation with a total of $110,000 in grants and scholarships as part of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program. Tabares was recognized at her high school during an in-school surprise ceremony, while Ticas was surprised later that day during a basketball fit clinic with Hill.
The private basketball clinic took place at PF Bresee Foundation’s headquarters Thursday night, where Hill was on hand to lead Tabares and Ticas, along with more than 30 Los Angeles youth from both nonprofits in a variety of basketball drills and games. After the surprise announcement, Hill also conducted a Q&A session with the youth, giving them insight to his background growing up, and what it takes to succeed in life and in school.
College Summit Southern California and PF Bresee Foundation each received $50,000 grants, while Tabares and Ticas received $5,000 Sun Life Rising Star college scholarships for their remarkable educational achievements and commitment to their community. 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 also promotes the importance of higher education as a means to achieve life-long financial wellness.
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 the program began in 2010.