Published: Oct 26, 2010 6:24 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 26, 2010 3:24 PM EDT

MIAMI, Fla. - Four outstanding South Florida students, and the non-profit organizations they represent, were honored by Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee at a special on-field ceremony as part of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program Sunday.

Cape Coral resident Kou A. Sua who represented the Boys & Girls Club of Lee County was among the student honorees.

In September, Sun Life Financial awarded a total of $220,000 in grants and scholarships to four non-profit organizations for their commitment to providing academic opportunities to at-risk youth, and to an exceptional student nominated by each organization.

The winning non-profit organizations received a $50,000 grant along with training, materials, and the curriculum infrastructure necessary to develop and provide financial education for the youth in its program. The students each received a $5,000 scholarship to help finance a post-secondary education.

In addition to their on-field recognition, the honorees were also treated to a special breakfast reception hosted by Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, Sun Life Financial Regional Vice President Joe Minutolo and head coach Tony Sparano’s wife, Jeanette Sparano, who helped select the recipients as a Sun Life Rising Star Awards judge.

The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program recognizes and provides resources to students who have overcome the odds and are committed to furthering their education, and to the non-profit organizations that advocate on their behalf. The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program is the education cornerstone program of the Miami Dolphins Foundation.

South Florida is one of seven areas that the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program will visit in 2010, providing more than $1,000,000 in grants and scholarships. Each winning organization will automatically be considered for the National Sun Life Rising Star Award, with the winner receiving an additional $50,000 grant. Winning students are also invited to enter an essay competition in which one student will be selected as the National Sun Life Rising Star award winner and receive a scholarship worth up to $50,000. The national award winners will be announced in February 2011.