SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - To help support the development of technical professionals in Puerto Rico, Verizon International Foundation has established a scholarship program for computer engineering students at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM).
Initially, ten incoming students at the university's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will receive scholarships of $5,000 each for the 2001-2002 academic year. The scholarships will be renewable each year of the department's five-year undergraduate program. Ten additional scholarships will be added annually to cover 50 students.
When combined with federal grants, the scholarships -- which will total $1.25 million -- will pay for the full cost of the students' annual tuition, room and board, transportation and textbooks.
It is anticipated that the scholarship program will be expanded in the future to cover additional computer engineering students at UPRM. Verizon International Foundation has similar scholarship programs in Asia and plans to expand the program to Latin America in the near future.
"As a world leader in telecommunications, Verizon is committed to supporting educational programs that develop a skilled workforce," said Michael T. Masin, Verizon vice chairman and president, at a ceremony today at Puerto Rico Telephone to announce the scholarship program.
"These scholarships are a key initiative of the Verizon International Foundation, and they will help increase the number of qualified technical professionals, who are vital to Puerto Rico's continued economic growth," Masin said.
Also attending the ceremony were Pablo Rodriguez, acting chancellor of UPRM; Jon Slater, president and CEO of Puerto Rico Telephone, Richard Carríon, president and CEO of Banco Popular, and other university officials.
"Two years ago when GTE, now Verizon, bought a controlling stake at PRT, we made a commitment to foster economic growth and education on the island," Slater said. " Although a variety of important initiatives have taken place in the past two years, the Verizon-sponsored scholarship program that we unveil today is a major milestone that confirms our commitment to Puerto Rico."
Rodriguez said, "This scholarship program not only strengthens the ties between Verizon and UPRM, but most important it will help develop highly qualified engineers. We are honored to be selected by an internationally recognized telecommunications company such as Verizon."
Scholarship applications will be available through the university. To qualify, an applicant must be a native of Puerto Rico, have a grade point average of 3.0 or better, demonstrate financial need and be enrolled in the university's five-year computer engineering degree program. UPRM will announce the scholarship recipients in August.
Verizon has a 40 percent ownership stake in the Puerto Rico Telephone, which is the largest provider of telecommunications services in Puerto Rico.
Verizon International Foundation supports a variety of educational and economic initiatives that focus on bridging the digital divide, workforce development and literacy. The foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of the global communities and customers served by Verizon and its international affiliates. The foundation works closely with Verizon's affiliates and a variety of advisory groups and other organizations to identify local needs and to develop and nurture programs that address those needs.
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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com