25 Students at CUNY Leadership Academy to Receive Scholarships Through $125,000 Verizon Grant

The Verizon Foundation has awarded a $125,000 grant to fund scholarships to The City University of New York Leadership Academy.

The scholarships, each for $5,000, will cover the full cost of tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year for 25 CUNY Leadership Academy Fellows.

The Fellows Program is the academy's signature program and provides a unique academic and co-curricular opportunity for students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on their campuses and in their communities. The year-long program brings together best practices in leadership development from across CUNY. This year's Fellows represent 16 CUNY colleges, 20 majors and all five boroughs of New York City, and highlight the diversity of students at CUNY.

The scholarships were announced Thursday night (Oct. 1) at the leadership academy's opening ceremony for the 2009-2010 academic year at the Hostos Community College Repertory Theater.

"For the first time, students selected to be CUNY Leadership Academy Fellows will receive a scholarship as part of the program," said Joe-Joe McManus, executive director of the academy.  "This is extremely important for our students, many of whom work one or two jobs in addition to attending classes. These scholarships will lighten the load and allow the students to focus on the rigors of their class work as well as the additional opportunities and responsibilities of the Fellows Program. 

"We thank Verizon for its support of the CUNY Leadership Academy and for doing its part to help develop the next generation of global leaders," McManus said.

Andrés Irlando, Verizon president for the New York region, said, "Supporting the education and development of future leaders in the communities we serve is a key issue for Verizon. The CUNY Leadership Academy is a unique and innovative program that will help students develop the skills needed to succeed in today's global marketplace."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education 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.

The CUNY Leadership Academy is a unique and diverse leadership program that brings together an extraordinary group of students from across the City University of New York's (CUNY) 23 separate colleges and graduate institutions for intensive year-long academic and co-curricular opportunities. Academy students represent CUNY's over 500,000 students, and work with faculty and other leaders to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to become global leaders. The Academy runs three major programs: the Fellows Program, the signature program of the Academy; the CUNY Ambassadors Program, which focuses on leadership through advocacy; and CUNY Corps, which focuses on leadership through service. In addition, the Academy hosts CUNY's Emerging Leaders Conference, New Leadership Challenge (for student governments), and CUNY Student Leadership Awards.

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.