809 Students Across the Country to Share in More Than $4 Million in Verizon Scholarships

NEW YORK - Paying for college just got easier for 809 college students who are children and dependents of Verizon employees.  Each student will receive a scholarship of $5,000 per academic year.

Verizon's scholarship program selects recipients based on financial need, academic achievement and extracurricular activities. The scholarships are for students who are attending or plan to attend an accredited four-year institution. Each scholarship is renewable for three years and has a total value of $20,000.  For the 2009-2010 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will provide a total of more than $4 million for the scholarships.

Since 2001, 2,152 students from across the country have benefited from the scholarship program, which has invested more than $36 million toward the college education of children and dependents of Verizon employees.

One former Verizon scholar, Natasha Gray, who works for Verizon Wireless in Vineland, N.J., said: "The scholarship greatly helped me achieve my educational goals. I was able to attend Rowan University in New Jersey and live on campus as well as study abroad in Spain for one semester.

"While studying in Spain, I was able to see parts of Europe and Africa and gain valuable cultural and linguistic exposure. This experience was priceless, and I am very grateful and thankful to have had it, thanks in part to this scholarship."

Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston said: "Education is a key issue for Verizon and our communities. Through this scholarship program, Verizon is making a significant investment in the education of our future leaders and providing a tremendous benefit to Verizon employees."

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.

"Verizon's scholarship program is among the most generous in corporate America, providing students with the resources needed to complete their program of study and become productive citizens," said Scholarship America's senior vice president, Donald Lassere.  "Scholarship America is proud to administer this important program for Verizon and the children of their employees."

A list of the Verizon scholars for 2009 is available on the Verizon Foundation Web site at http://www.verizonfoundation.org/about/press/scholstudents09.shtml.

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 86 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 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.