Verizon Honors Philadelphia-Area Scholars During 110th Penn Relays

PHILADELPHIA - As part of its sponsorship of the USA vs. the World event at the Penn Relays, Verizon will present a $1,500 college scholarship on April 24 to the winner of its Verizon Youth Tech Essay competition and recognize 10 other winners by presenting each of them with a new personal computer.

Verizon is also an official sponsor of USA Track & Field, and for the third year the company will be the presenting sponsor of the April 24 NBC broadcast of the USA vs. the World event at the Penn Relays. The relays will be held April 22-24 at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field.

The essay competition, in which students wrote about how technology can help improve their communities, was held last fall in conjunction with Verizon Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia School District.

"We are proud that our sponsorship of USA Track & Field, and the USA vs. the World at the Penn Relays gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our continued support for youngsters and the communities we serve with initiatives that promote education," said Jim Reed, director of external affairs for Verizon-Pennsylvania.

Tamarah Cordice, the scholarship winner, said, "This scholarship from Verizon means a lot to me. It shows me that my hard work is important not just to me, but to my family and my community as well. I am honored to have Verizon recognize my hard work and invest in my future."

The essay winners also will attend the company-sponsored Verizon Block Party, featuring music, dancers and celebrity athletes Jon Drummond, Allyson Felix and Justin Gatlin. The party, also to be held on April 24 on the university's Franklin Field tennis courts, will celebrate Philadelphia's Caribbean and African-American cultures with a Caribbean band and dance troupe. The event will also feature performances by jugglers and stilt walkers.

USA vs. the World at the Penn Relays marks the official start of the USA Track & Field outdoor season and gives the community an opportunity to watch Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. The competitors also include high school and elementary school students, who will compete during the School Day shuttle races.

The three-day Penn Relays, now in its 110th year, attracts more than 100,000 spectators annually and is one of the most exciting track and field events. Verizon is sponsoring the men's 4x100-meter relay at the USA vs. the World event, which will pit Team USA against a powerful Jamaican squad and other international teams.

"The Penn Relays is a vital part of the community and is one of the most important and historic track and field competitions in the world," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "Athletes who compete here often go on to give back to the sport through coaching, administration and working with young people. With Verizon's support, we are able to help sustain the Penn Relays legacy through USA vs. The World."

For more information, call 215-898-6151 or visit www.verizon.com/usatrackandfield or www.usatf.org.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded more than 21,000 grants totaling about $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 595,000 hours in their communities and provided $34.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 20 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon 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.