Six Baltimore-Area Students Awarded Verizon Foundation Scholarships

BALTIMORE - Paying for college just got easier for six Baltimore-area children of Verizon employees who have earned college scholarships from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

The students will each receive $5,000 annually toward their college expenses and are eligible to receive a maximum award of $20,000 throughout four years of college.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Aquuelah Johnson of Severn, a graduate of Meade Senior High School and daughter of Judith Johnson.  Johnson plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and major in dentistry.

  • Cherice Lawson of Baltimore, a graduate of Baltimore City College High School and daughter of Ava Lawson.  Lawson plans to attend the University of Maryland College Park and major in sociology.

  • Brittany Peterson of Pikesville, a graduate of Millford Mill Academy and daughter of Audrey Sykes.  Peterson plans to attend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and major in mass media communications.

  • Shawndrea Ray of Baltimore, a graduate of Western Senior High School and daughter of Sharlene Matthews.  Ray plans to attend Temple University and major in business administration.

  • Keith Richard of Ellicott City, a graduate of Howard High School and son of Gustav Richard.  Richard plans to attend Coastal Carolina University and major in psychology and computer programming.

  • Mellissa Sager of Baltimore, a graduate of Perry Hall High School and daughter of Walter Hook.  Sager plans to attend Towson University and major in political science.

The students are among 10 students across Maryland receiving Verizon scholarships worth up to $460,000 for four years of college.

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.

“Our commitment to developing a skilled work force for the 21st century begins at home, with the children of our employees,” said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland.  “Verizon proudly supports these students because we realize that an investment in their education is an investment in our future.”

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 also have 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.