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Voya’s Unsung Heroes grant program celebrates 25 years of support for innovative teaching ideas

Accepting grant applications through May 14, 2022

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Voya Unsung Heroes program, a nationwide program that funds innovative curriculum ideas to augment classroom instruction. To commemorate this important milestone, Voya, in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), recently sponsored National Teacher Talks: Looking Back to Leap Ahead - 25 Years in Education.

This panel discussion includes National Teachers of the Year Sydney Chaffee, MA (2017); Sean McComb, MD (2014); Dr. Shanna Peeples, TX (2015) and Rodney Robinson, VA (2019). Cindy Marten, deputy secretary of the United States Department of Education, also participated in the event.

Panelists discussed how the needs of K – 12 schools and students have evolved over the last 25 years; how educators have adapted to serve the changing student population; navigating those diverse needs during a time of heightened political tensions; and the voice that educators can have in conversations with parents, administrators, and the general public.

The panel will be the first in a series that addresses important and relevant issues facing educators.

Now accepting grant applications for Voya’s Unsung Heroes 2022 program

Teachers with innovative curriculum ideas that will enhance the learning experience can apply for $140,000 in annual grant dollars by visiting the Unsung Heroes website. Fifty finalists will be selected to receive a $2,000 grant based on their ideas’ creativity; the teaching method applied; and the ability to positively influence students. Of the finalists, three will be selected to receive enhanced awards: $5,000 for third place; $10,000 for second place; and $25,000 for the grand prize winner. The deadline to submit an application is May 14, 2022.

Since inception, Voya’s Unsung Heroes program has awarded approximately $6 million in grants to educators to fund innovative curriculum ideas to augment classroom instruction. Voya’s commitment to educators also includes its longstanding support for the CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year program, and several other initiatives focused on recruiting, training, and retaining America’s teacher workforce.

“Caring about our local communities is an intrinsic part of Voya’s culture,” said Braeden Mayrisch, assistant vice president, Stakeholder Equity and Impact and vice president, Voya Foundation. “For a quarter of a century, our Unsung Heroes program and other initiatives have helped teachers bring their innovative ideas to life as they prepare today’s students to be our leaders of tomorrow.”

Unsung Heroes is part of Voya Foundation’s signature program, Voya Teacher Voices. Voya Teacher Voices focuses on empowering teachers to become leaders by promoting the teaching career, recognizing high-achieving educators, providing training opportunities and offering financial support to achieve their goals.

About Voya Foundation

Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children's education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that help Americans become well planned, well invested and well protected. Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $4.2 billion in revenue in 2021 and $707 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2022. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.



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