Five Florida High School Students Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

Paying for college just got easier for five Florida high school students. They are among 530 students nationwide who will receive scholarships of $5,000 each for the 2011-2012 academic year through the Verizon Foundation's scholarship program for the children and dependents of company employees.

The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon. 

The scholarship program selects recipients based on financial need, academic achievement and extracurricular activities. Each scholarship is renewable for three years and has a total value of $20,000.   For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will provide a total of more than $2.64 million for the scholarships.

This year's Florida recipients are (PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST):

  • Heather Bingaman, C. Leon King High School and a Brandon resident, who plans to attend the University of Central Florida and pursue a degree in biology.  She is the daughter of Verizon employee Brian Bingaman.
  • John Irish, Bloomingdale High School and a Valrico resident, who plans to attend the University of South Florida and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.  He is the son of employee Jody Irish.
  • Kari Mendenhall, Wiregrass Ranch High School and a Wesley Chapel resident, who plans to attend Warner University and pursue a degree in elementary education-exceptional student education.  She is the daughter of employee Ken Mendenhall.
  • Emma Olson, Tarpon Springs High School and a Largo resident, who plans to attend the University of Central Florida and pursue a degree in biology-pre-veterinary medicine.  She is the daughter of employee Richard Olson.
  • Stephanie Peck, Park Vista High School and a Lake Worth resident, who plans to attend the University of Florida and pursue a degree in education.  She is the daughter of employee David Peck.

Since 2001, the scholarship program has invested more than $42.3 million toward the college education of children and dependents of Verizon employees, benefitting 2,353 students. For the 2011-2012 school year, 100 scholarships are for incoming freshman, and 430 are for continuing support for previous winners.

"Education is a key issue for Verizon and for our communities," said Michelle Robinson, Verizon's Southeast region president. "As a technology company, we know the value of education and are proud to support our future leaders through this scholarship program." 

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 the Verizon scholars for 2011 is available on the Verizon Foundation website at http://www.verizonfoundation.org/about/press/scholstudents11.shtml.

The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: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, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.