Verizon Awards Scholarships to Computer-Engineering Students at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - For the third year in a row, Verizon has awarded $5,000 scholarships to 10 first-year computer-engineering students at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. A total of 30 students will take part in the Verizon International Scholarship program for the 2003-2004 academic year.

The scholarships, provided by Verizon International Foundation, will be renewable each year of the university's five-year undergraduate program in computer engineering.

Verizon presented a $150,000 check for the 2003-2004 academic year to Antonio Garcia-Padilla, president of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, at a luncheon ceremony today honoring this year's recipients. Daniel C. Petri, president of Verizon International, and Jon Slater, president and CEO of Puerto Rico Telephone, a Verizon affiliate, made the presentation.

"Verizon's scholarship program not only strengthens the university's mission to offer affordable education, it ensures Puerto Rico will develop a pool of highly qualified engineers," said Garcia-Padilla.

The scholarships, when combined with federal grants that the students also receive, will pay for the full cost of a student's annual tuition, room and board, transportation and textbooks.

"By investing in the future of these talented students, Verizon is investing in Puerto Rico's future, " said Petri. "The scholarships are part of Verizon's commitment to foster the development of technical professionals in Puerto Rico. Verizon salutes each of our scholarship winners for their achievements."

This year's scholarship recipients are: Suhailly Matos of Guayanilla, Vimaliz Montes of Toa Alta, Lisnel Morales of Aibonito, Charlotte Torres of Homigueros, Lizell Trabal of Mayaguez, Christian Cruz of Manati, Eduardo Ponce of San Juan, Adiel Medina of Cotto Laurel, Alexis Ortiz of Moca and José Cordec of Camuy.

In addition, four other students were chosen to fill additional slots that became available in the scholarship program. They are Erika Padilla of Bayamón, Alexander Toledo of Canovanas, Pedro Nieves of Humacao and David González of Manati.

"As responsible corporate citizens, we want to give back to the community we serve, and we believe that one of the best ways to give back is by fostering the education of our youth," said Slater. "PRT has already demonstrated serious commitment to Puerto Rico not only with the scholarships it is granting here, but with other initiatives aimed at helping improve educational opportunities to many young people on the island."

Verizon owns 52 percent of Puerto Rico Telephone, which is the largest provider of telecommunication services in Puerto Rico.

To qualify for the Verizon International Scholarship program, an applicant must have a 3.0 grade point average or better, demonstrate financial need, be enrolled in the university's five-year computer-engineering degree program, and be a native of Puerto Rico or have completed high school in Puerto Rico.

The scholarship program was established in 2001 and will provide 50 scholarships totaling $1.25 million over five years.

Verizon has similar scholarship programs in the Dominican Republic and Italy.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.


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