Jenesse Center, Verizon Announce Partnership to Benefit Job-Skills Training for Survivors of Domestic Violence

LOS ANGELES - Victims of domestic violence can now participate in a job-skills training program that can lead to economic self-sufficiency, thanks to a new partnership announced by the Jenesse Center and Verizon.

At the charity's annual fundraiser, the Silver Rose Gala and Auction, on Sunday (April 19), Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, the Jenesse Silver Rose chairperson, accepted a $250,000 grant from Verizon for the program.

"Over the past nine years, I've watched the lives of countless families be transformed through Jenesse, and this work will continue with the help of Verizon and others," Berry said. "I am excited about the future for these families as we work to build on our success and bring an end to their suffering, one family at a time."

Verizon's grant will be used for the Career Transitions Program. Participants who complete the 12-to-18-week program are certified in business, medicine, customer service and computer training by nationally accredited universities, such as Rutgers University, LSU and Sacramento State. The program is supported by the National Business Services Alliances. 

"Statistics show that many domestic violence victims are unable to leave their situation due to lack of skills and the ability to be self sufficient," said Karen Earl, Jenesse Center executive director.  "We are honored to have Verizon as our corporate partner, and its support will move our Jenesse clients into a new realm of self- sufficiency through education." 

The Career Transitions Program will support Jenesse Center's goal to increase self- empowerment through education for women and families victimized by domestic violence.  Domestic violence can create serious obstacles that prevent survivors from achieving economic security and self-sufficiency. By controlling and limiting the victim's access to financial resources, a batterer ensures that the victim will be financially limited if she chooses to leave the relationship.

"Jenesse's programs have been the catalyst needed to inspire women to make life-changing decisions," said Elva Lima, vice president, strategic programs, Verizon. "This partnership allows us to continue to use our resources to support an organization that has a proven record of success in domestic violence awareness, prevention, and survivor support."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  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 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

About Jenesse Center
Founded in 1980, Jenesse Center Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides culturally sensitive programs, services and outreach efforts to families victimized by domestic violence, by providing a comprehensive, centralized base of support and services that ensures a transition from immediate crisis to stability and self-sufficiency. Jenesse Center provides a holistic, comprehensive program to nurture victimized families back to a place of mental, financial, physical and emotional well-being.

Housing women and children from 30 days up to two years through its 156-bed emergency and transitional shelters, Jenesse also provides a variety of support services to more than 1,000 families annually including mental health counseling, independent life skills classes, computer training, job referrals, after school programs for children, field trips, tutoring and legal assistance offering assistance with obtaining restraining orders for domestic violence victims.

About Verizon Communications Inc.
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 more than 80 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 nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.