MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was a big day for students who are rising stars. The Miami Dolphins surprised them with scholarships and grants.

The Dolphins and Sun Life Financial gave out a $5,000 scholarship to Miami Northwestern High School student Kimberly Sandino.

Not only will the award provide her with funds to further her education, it offers hope to every student walking the halls of the school.

“As far as being able to be academically strong in school, it meant a lot to me. I know parents are strict on us about it. To be able to give a scholarship out to a kid that is well-deserving of it meant the world to me,” said Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey.

“I just walked away from a girl who was in the audience and said how did you get to be part of this scholarship and what are the requirements and we explained it to them and hopefully we are sending them out with a renewed sense of work hard, give back and something will come back to you,” said Diane Philbin.

Unfortunately, Kimberly was not able to attend the ceremony, but her teacher Marina Hernandez was a bit shocked, but overjoyed that her pupil was given an opportunity to further her education.

“I actually didn’t even realize she was pursuing this, if I would have known, I would have rooted her on, but I am extremely proud of her,” said Hernandez.

Since 2010, Sun Life has awarded nearly $4 million in their “Rising Stars” award program to help kids get the help they need to succeed.

“To see the looks on their face and to see that we are helping them take their education to the next level, we’ve picked the right charity and the right cause,” said John Hak, the Group Manager of Sun Life Financial.

“This could change one kid’s life and it just means the world to me. I know when I was growing up as a kid and people came back and did these things for me, it meant a lot to me and changed the course of my life,” Mike Pouncey added.

The Miami Dolphins also went to Lake Worth and Blanche Ely High School to give out scholarships and grants.


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