Thirteen Pennsylvania Students Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

Paying for college just got easier for 13 students across Pennsylvania. They are among 530 students nationwide who will receive scholarships of $5,000 each for the 2011-2012 academic year through the Verizon Foundation's scholarship program for the children and dependents of company employees.

The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

The scholarship program selects recipients based on financial need, academic achievement and extracurricular activities. Each scholarship is renewable for three years and has a total value of $20,000.   For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will provide a total of more than $2.64 million for the scholarships.

This year's first-time Pennsylvania recipients are:

  • Collin Brown of Wilson High School in Wernersville, son of Verizon employee Thomas Brown, who plans to attend St. Mary's College of Maryland and pursue a degree in biology.
  • Nicole Capizzi of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Conshohocken, daughter of Verizon employee Samuel Capizzi, who plans to attend Cabrini College and pursue a degree in business and communications.
  • Sarah De Los Santos of Liberty Junior/Senior High School in Trout Run, daughter of Verizon employee Marion De Los Santos, who plans to attend Lycoming College and has not yet declared a major.
  • Samantha Fruwirth of Emmaus High School, daughter of Verizon employee Matthew Fruwirth, who plans to pursue a degree in engineering at a yet-to-be-named school.
  • Richard Jones of New Castle High School, son of Verizon employee Marcia Jones, who plans to attend Westminster College and pursue a degree in science with a pre-med track.
  • Ian Labate of St. John Neumann Regional Academy in Williamsport, son of Verizon employee Christopher Labate, who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh and pursue a degree in athletic training.
  • Brianna Moore of Central Dauphin High School East in Harrisburg, daughter of Verizon employee Cynthia Brooks, who plans to attend Penn State University and pursue a degree in marketing.
  • Jenna Neil of Central Dauphin High School East in Harrisburg, daughter of Verizon employee Bradley Scott Neil, who plans to attend Arcadia University and pursue a degree in early childhood education/special education.
  • James Szewczyk of Bethel Park High School, son of Verizon employee James Szewczyk, who plans to attend Sewanee: The University of the South and pursue a degree in environmental science.
  • David Van der Werf of Hersey High School, son of Verizon employee Robert Van der Werf, who plans to attend Liberty University and pursue a degree in communications/journalism.
  • Marissa Webb of Titusville High School, daughter of Verizon employee Daniel Webb, who plans to attend Edinboro University and pursue a degree in nursing.
  • Kaileena Wodarski of Iroquois Junior/Senior High School in Erie, daughter of Verizon employee Craig Wodarski, who plans to attend Thiel College and pursue a degree in pre-pharmacy.
  • Mercedes Zuzak of Belle Vernon Area High School, daughter of Verizon employee Cathy Michener, who has not yet selected a school or major.

Since 2001, the scholarship program has invested more than $42.3 million toward the college education of children and dependents of Verizon employees, benefitting 2,353 students. For the 2011-2012 school year, 100 scholarships are for incoming freshman, and 430 are for continuing support for previous winners.

"Supporting educational achievement in our communities has long been a priority at Verizon," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "As a technology company, we know the value of education and are proud to give these students greater learning opportunities through this scholarship program." 

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 the Verizon scholars for 2011 is available on the Verizon Foundation website at http://www.verizonfoundation.org/about/press/scholstudents11.shtml.

The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.