Sun Life Financial Inc. and the Miami Dolphins have announced they are accepting applications for the Sun Life Rising Star Award grants from non-profit organizations that advocate for youth from under-served communities.

The awards are designed to improve the lives of under-served youth by providing financial resources and education to students and non-profit organizations committed to increasing success in high school and beyond.

Each successful organization will receive a grant of $50,000 and other resources. Also, as part of the application process, each organization will nominate an exemplary student for a $5,000 Sun Life Rising Star scholarship to help pay for college, with the goal of helping students achieve long-term financial stability.

The program, which is now in its second year, will provide more than $1 million to students and non-profit organizations in major markets across the country, a statement said.

It is the educational cornerstone program of the Miami Dolphins Foundation.

“Financial security and sustainability are the building blocks of the Sun Life brand and that's why it's a priority for us to continue investing in and improving the lives of these outstanding students who are committed to furthering their education,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “It is our intention that the Sun Life Rising Star Awards serve as a catalyst to help these incredibly talented and deserving students and organizations embark on a path to a sound financial future.”

To be considered for a grant, organizations must have tax-exempt status and must promote skills that result in success for high school students under age 21. Applications will be reviewed by a local judging panel comprising community leaders and senior-level educators.

Nominees for the student scholarships must be high school seniors actively involved in an organization that shares the program’s mission. They must also plan to pursue post-secondary education, exhibit leadership qualities and demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities.

Students who are nominated must submit a 750-word essay on how financial education contributes to future success.

The deadline for submitting applications is July 1. Application forms are available at