146 Latino Students Across the Country to Receive $680,000 in Verizon Scholarships

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon has announced that it has awarded more than $680,000 in scholarships to 146 Hispanic students for the 2008-2009 school year.

The scholarship program is one of many programs that Verizon and its philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation, have in place to support the Hispanic community.  The scholarships announcement was made in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Monday (Sept. 15).

"Verizon has a long history of investing in the Latino community, including in the development of tomorrow's leaders," said Magda Yrizarry, Verizon chief diversity officer and vice president - workplace culture, diversity and compliance. "Across our richly diverse marketplace, from California to Texas to New York, Verizon remains committed to investing financial and human resources in partnerships and programs that directly benefit the Latino community."

Among the organizations that have received grants from Verizon to fund scholarships are:

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund - $200,000 for 33 scholarships.

  • Hispanic Business College Fund - $150,000 for 35 scholarships.

  • Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Program at the University of Texas-Pan American - $25,000 for 5 scholarships.

  • Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers National Scholarship - $30,000 for 6 scholarships.

  • University of Southern California/Mexican American Alumni Association - $45,000 for 9 scholarships.

  • Ten additional organizations and colleges and universities that serve the Latino community received approximately $230,000 to award scholarships.

In all, the Verizon Foundation has awarded more than $31.7 million in grants since 2006 to nonprofit organizations that benefit and serve the Hispanic Community.  Some recent initiatives include:

  • The creation of a special Hispanic Heritage Month resources section on Thinkfinity.org, which provides free educational resources, lesson plans and activities for teachers, parents and students. Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.

  • Verizon is a major sponsor of the National Council of La Raza's Alma Awards, an annual televised awards program that celebrates the accomplishments of Latinos in the field of entertainment.

  • A $1 million Verizon Foundation grant to expand the League of Latin American Citizens' (LULAC) Young Readers program, which is aimed at improving literacy and academic achievement among Hispanic children in grades 1-3.

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.