Six West Virginia Graduates Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Six West Virginia graduates whose parents work for Verizon have received good news: They are among 933 students nationwide who have earned college scholarships from the Verizon Foundation.

These scholars will receive scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year through Verizon's scholarship program for the children and dependents of company employees.  Each student will receive $5,000 annually toward his or her college expenses and is eligible to receive a maximum award of $20,000 throughout four years of college.

This year's recipients are:

  • Mark Gray of Bridgeport, son of employee Lesa Gray, who plans to attend Fairmont State University.

  • Sheena Jones of Grafton, daughter of employee Timothy Spencer, who plans to attend West Virginia University.

  • Zachary Miller of Bridgeport, son of employee Corby Miller, who plans to attend West Virginia University.

  • Carrie Mitchell of Huntington, daughter of employee Dennis Leonard, who plans to attend Ohio University.

  • Jonathan Tincher of Dunbar, son of employee James Tincher, who plans to attend St. John's College in Annapolis, Md.

  • Derek Vance of Poca, son of employee Judy Vance, who plans to attend Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Verizon's scholarship program selects recipients based on financial need, academic achievement and extracurricular activities. The scholarships are for high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited four-year institution.

Since 2001, more than 2,050 students from across the country have benefited from the scholarship program, which has invested almost $32.3 million toward the college education of children and dependents of Verizon employees.  For the 2008-2009 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will invest approximately $4.6 million toward the education of 933 Verizon scholars, 250 freshmen and 683 upperclassmen.

"At Verizon, we pride ourselves in being a great place to work, but this scholarship program is more than a great benefit to our employees and their children," said B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.  "It's a significant investment in our future leaders and in the future of our communities."

The Verizon Foundation awards the scholarships in partnership with Scholarship America, the nation's largest nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization, which was founded in 1958.

A list of Verizon scholars is available on the Verizon Foundation Web site, at www.verizon.com/foundation

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, 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.

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 67 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 employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.