Students at Newark's West Side High School to Be Mentored by Verizon Employees

For many high school students navigating through life's daily challenges, getting advice and mentoring - particularly from professionals who are just a bit older and more experienced - can help the students identify and realize their future career goals.

Nearly 250 students from West Side High School will have just such a mentoring opportunity when 57 employees from the Verizon Leadership Development Program visit the school on Thursday (March 8) to share their life experiences and discuss topics ranging from financial planning to college preparation to resume building.

The Verizon volunteers are part of an elite group of recent college graduates who applied and were chosen to be part of the Verizon Leadership Development Program.  These individuals are the next generation of leaders for Verizon and are committed to being good corporate citizens and giving back to the communities that Verizon serves.

Jersey Cares, a Newark-based nonprofit organization that coordinates volunteer opportunities and promotes civic engagement in New Jersey, worked with the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, to plan the mentoring event and will provide guidance to the Verizon volunteers participating.

"Verizon's commitment to providing high-quality service is ingrained within the company's culture, as demonstrated not only commercially but also in its service to the community," said Brian Dean, executive director of Jersey Cares.  "We are excited to partner with Verizon to enrich the educational experience of the students at West Side High School and provide them with perspectives that reach beyond their everyday lives."

Last year, Verizon employees across the country volunteered more than 670,000 hours to support nonprofit organizations, and Verizon employees in New Jersey volunteered nearly 64,800 hours to nonprofit groups in 2011.

"Mentoring has tremendous benefits, and this event lets Verizon employees share their professional and personal experiences with these young people and help prepare them for the future," said Jayne Mayer, director of employee volunteerism at Verizon.  "These students soon will be facing major life decisions -choosing a college or a career - and our employees, who dealt with the same issues just a few years ago, will be able to offer students guidance on setting their career goals and taking the steps necessary to reach them."

The program will run from 9 a.m. until noon and feature: a financial literacy workshop to teach the importance of financial planning and budgeting; a college preparation panel that will give the volunteers the opportunity to share their college experiences with the students and answer questions; a freshman 101 workshop to give college-bound students valuable skills to effectively balance academic and social activities in a college environment; and a resume-building workshop.

In addition to the mentoring activities, the Verizon employees also will assemble bookshelves in the school's library.

Shared Success

By focusing on mobility, broadband and global connectivity, Verizon is breaking down old technology barriers and empowering businesses and communities. The company is delivering long-term shareholder growth by helping to solve and address pressing issues from health care to energy. To learn more about the strategy, known within the company as shared success, visit http://responsibility.verizon.com/ or click here.
The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live.  Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, 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 consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 108 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.