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May 28, 2013

Auburn Mountainview High School Wins $10,000 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom ‘MVP Award’

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks have awarded Auburn Mountainview High School with the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® “MVP Award.” The $10,000 grant will be used by the Auburn, Wash., high school to fund an innovative student achievement program focused on sustainable agriculture.

The winning program, called “Cultivating Youth,” was announced at a May 24 luncheon at CenturyLink Field celebrating all 24 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom winners from the 2012 NFL season. Auburn Mountainview teacher Regina Grubb was on hand to receive the $10,000 check from Jim Pirak, Symetra senior vice president, Marketing, and Mike Flood, Seattle Seahawks vice president, Community Relations and Special Projects. Grubb, who developed the Cultivating Youth program, is an environmental science, horticulture and floral design instructor and 2012 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recipient.

“Auburn Mountainview is very proud to receive the MVP Award. Through the award’s grant, our winning Cultivating Youth program will allow students to connect with the community via farmers markets and food banks to address hunger issues and healthy food choices,” said school principal Terri Herren. “The best part is that students who may not fit into a traditional biology class will have the opportunity to earn alternative credits through this hands-on sustainable agriculture program — supporting an on-time graduation and a chance to acquire lifelong skills.”

The Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program honors K-12 teachers for educational excellence throughout the NFL football season. The school of each teacher Hero was eligible to compete for this year’s MVP Award. Nominated programs were evaluated on a range of criteria, including innovation, feasibility and demonstrated need.

About ‘Cultivating Youth’
Cultivating Youth will provide at-risk students with opportunities to gain or recapture core high school credit during summer school and afterschool programming focused on sustainable agriculture. Students from diverse backgrounds will grow and distribute food, practicing care for the land and community through bio-intensive gardening and aquaponics. The students will follow the process from seed to market, selling the food they grow at local markets and food shares and distributing food to relief organizations. Ultimately, the program aims to engage students in personal change — teaching critical lessons about diversity, service, leadership, small business and the environment, and the importance of community contribution.

About Symetra Heroes in the Classroom®
Since 2006, nearly 150 Puget Sound-area teachers have been honored as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. They receive a $350 Office Max gift card for classroom supplies and tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field. In addition, Symetra makes a $1,000 donation to each teacher Hero’s school.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The winners are selected based on their ability to make a real difference in students' lives; to go above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities; and to help students build life skills.

For more information about the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program, visit www.SymetraHeroes.com/Seahawks
 
About Symetra
Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit www.symetra.com.


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Contact(s):
Diana McSweeney
Symetra
(425) 256-6167
diana.mcsweeney@symetra.com

Suzanne Lavender
Seattle Seahawks
(425) 203-8024
suzannel@SeahawksSoundersFC.com



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