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

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Verizon has awarded $5,000 scholarships to 10 first-year computer engineering students at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The recipients join 10 students who were selected for the Verizon International Scholarship program in 2001.

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

Verizon presented a $100,000 check for the 2002-2003 academic year to Dr. Jorge Velez Arocho, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, at a luncheon ceremony today honoring this year's recipients. Fares F. Salloum, president - International, the Americas for Verizon and Jon Slater, president and CEO for 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 Dr. Velez Arocho.

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.

Fares Salloum, president - International, the Americas for Verizon said, "By investing in the education of these talented students, Verizon is investing in Puerto Rico's future. The scholarships are part of Verizon's commitment to foster the development of technical professionals in Puerto Rico."

"Verizon congratulates these students for their outstanding academic achievement."

This year's scholarship recipients are Jonathan Cancel Chervony of Homigueros; Abigail Fuentes-Rivera of Morovis; Mario O. García Bruckman of Dorado; Jonathan Maldonado Guemarez of Vega Baja; Ricardo Mercado Saavedra of Quebradilla; Celibette M. Ossorio Laracuente of Mayagüez; Cresyi Padilla Ruberté of San Germán; Wilmarie Ríos Ramos of Ángeles; Ángel Rivera Centeno of Bajadero and Susana Rodríguez Cardona of San Sebastián.

Jon Slater, president and CEO of Puerto Rico Telephone said: "Through philanthropic efforts, we at PRT and Verizon reaffirm our commitment to education, not only because we feel it is our duty as responsible corporate citizens, but also because we strongly believe that when we invest in educating our young we are creating a more competitive society, with skilled workers, and a brighter future for all."

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.

Verizon's International Scholarship program was established in 2001. The program will provide 50 scholarships totaling $1.25 million over five-years.

Verizon has similar scholarship programs in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Europe and Asia.

Verizon Foundation

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.1 million access line equivalents and 30.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 241,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.


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