Jakensen Is Our Sun Life Rising Star


For the third time in five years SOWMA was chosen to receive the prestigious Sun Life Rising Star award and three SOWMA students received the honor of being chosen as a “Rising Star” amongst their high school peers. This year’s winning student Jakensen Verdul, a senior at New Bedford High School, received a Sun Life $5,000 scholarship grant that will allow him to pursue his dream of going to college and earning a business degree. Jakensen will be the first in his family to go to college! In a Sun Life pre-game check presentation at a Celtics game in November Jakensen was surprised with a large check and a meet and greet session with one of his favorite basketball players former Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo. Jakensen’s family and his tutors watched the Celtics game from a luxury box and received gifts of a new Sun Life tote bag to top off a night they will always remember!

Sun Life Rising Star is giving students the opportunity to move beyond the circumstances of homelessness, focus on their education, and achieve a brighter future. Along with Jakensen’s $5,000 college scholarship he will also have the opportunity to do a summer internship at Sun Life Financial after his freshman year in college. As part of the Rising Star award SOWMA received a $50,000 grant to help support our High School Plus program that focuses on students staying in school, graduating and pursuing a post-secondary education. This year SOWMA is working with 31 students at 11 different colleges in Massachusetts. We are anticipating four college graduations this spring--three from Bridgewater State University and one from Brandeis University. Sun Life’s support helps make our students success possible. We are honored to be recognized for our work with teens impacted by homelessness.

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School on Wheels - MA
100 Laurel Street
Suite 121
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333


Federal Tax ID 20-1020880