19 New Jersey High School Graduates Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nineteen New Jersey students graduating from high schools in the state in the next few weeks have earned college scholarships from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. 

The New Jersey students are among 250 students nationwide who received scholarships this year through Verizon's program for the children of company employees.

The New Jersey students receiving Verizon scholarships this year  are:  Kevin Bogert of Hainesport, Justin Buffington of Bordentown, Anntonette Butt of Totowa, Raven Burnett of New Milford, Shanice Cooper of Hackensack, Lauren Dobbs of Palmyra, Samantha Duarte of Barneget, Angela Forjohn of Williamstown, Pragna Gaddam of East Brunswick, Laura Greey of Berkeley Heights, Simmone Henderson of Somerset, Amanda Jordon of Lanoka Harbor, Samantha McCabe of Somerset, Anjell Middletown of Toms River, Leyna O'Neill of Monroe Township, Tiffany Otto of South Orange, Tanya Schulz of Jackson, Caitlin Shaw of Eatontown and Lauren Tirri of Wayne.  The winners, who are children of Verizon employees, will each receive $5,000 annually toward their college expenses.   Each scholarship is renewable for three years and has a total value of $20,000.

Verizon's scholarship program selects recipients based on financial need, academic achievement and extracurricular activities. The scholarships are for high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited four-year institution.

Since 2001, more than 1,800 students from across the country have benefited from the scholarship program, which has invested more than $27.7 million toward the college education of children and dependents of Verizon employees. For the 2007-2008 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will invest approximately $4.8 million toward the education of 957 Verizon scholars, including 250 freshman and 707 upperclassmen.

"We truly hope these scholarships lead to success in college and beyond," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.  "Education is critical as we strive to be successful in the global marketplace.   We hope these recipients don't look at the next four years as the end of their educational careers, but just the beginning."

The Verizon Foundation awards the scholarships in partnership with Scholarship America, the nation's largest nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization, which was founded in 1958.

A list of Verizon scholars is available on the Verizon Foundation Web site, at www.verizon.com/foundation

The Verizon Foundation is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery.  In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 60.7 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.