Ten High School Graduates From Tampa Bay Area Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

TAMPA, Fla. - Paying for college just got easier for 10 children of Verizon employees who have earned college scholarships from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

The Tampa Bay area students are among the total of 933 students nationwide who received 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 Tampa Bay area recipients are:

  • Cara Barnes of Land O'Lakes, daughter of employee Tony Barnes, who plans to attend the University of West Florida.

  • Brittany and Lauren Dugan of Clearwater, daughters of employee Steve Dugan, who plan to attend the University of South Florida.

  • Chaundra Eversole of Clearwater, daughter of employee Kevin Eversole, who plans to attend the University of South Florida.

  • Lia Felix of Lutz, daughter of employee Bonifacio Gutierrez, who plans to attend the University of South Florida.

  • Marc Hartmann of Bradenton, son of employee Glenn Hartmann, who plans to attend Bucknell University.

  • Rachel Mueller of Tampa, daughter of employee David Mueller, who plans to attend the University of Central Florida.

  • Michael Welch of Tampa, son of employee Patricia Welch, who plans to attend Florida State University.

  • Kia Peterson of Ruskin, daughter of employee Keesha Slade, who plans to attend Florida State University.

  • Kayla Wright of Tampa, daughter of employee Deharia Peoples, who plans to attend Florida State University.

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," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president.  "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.