Verizon Foundation and Boston Private Industry Council Help Students Improve Academic and Job Skills

The Verizon Foundation and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) are bringing the classroom to the workplace this summer by helping Boston public school students prepare for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Standard and Scholastic Aptitude Test exams while participating in real-life work experiences.

The Verizon Foundation has donated $50,000 to support the Boston PIC's Classroom at the Workplace: MCAS Preparation and SAT Preparation program for Boston public school students who have failed the MCAS or are first-generation college-bound students who otherwise would not have access to SAT preparation and college counseling.  The program further helps Boston teens and their families by coupling the academic preparation with summer jobs at local community-based organizations.  

"This program helps students succeed academically while giving them a work experience that provides much-needed services to nonprofits in our community," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "These teens are empowered to achieve academic success and earn a livable wage as viable contributors to Boston's workforce."

The program's ultimate goal is to help students pass the MCAS and earn their diploma or earn a score on the SAT that will increase their competitive edge in college acceptance. 

Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston PIC, said: "When students have an opportunity to advance their education in the context of a summer job, they tend to make the connection between school and career.  These students overcome significant academic barriers and go on to graduate from high school and pursue higher degrees and credentials.  When combined, education and paid work help break the cycle of poverty, generating the aspirations and the motivation necessary to persist and eventually thrive.

"Through this program, the Verizon Foundation is helping us make a real difference in the lives of these students and their families by giving them the academic foundation and work experience they need to succeed in the future."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  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 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: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, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.