Urban Media Foundation Receives $24,000 Verizon Grant to Increase Literacy Skills of Inner-City Youth

LOS ANGELES - The Urban Media Foundation (UMF) has received a $24,000 grant from Verizon to support the organization's after-school literacy education program, which offers youth workshops on literacy, critical thinking and technology training.

"Our partnership with Verizon has enabled us to deliver a quality program to our youth," said Natalie Cole, CEO and founder of the Urban Media Foundation. "At a time when the economy is in a significant downturn and philanthropy dollars have dwindled, we are pleased that Verizon embraced the vision of the UMF and supported this program."

The UMF offers youth a way to channel their expression and focus their energies through journalism and media technology.  It also offers students a place to network and provides summer job opportunities and internships with local newspapers and radio and TV stations.   

"Verizon is proud to support an organization that provides an outlet for youth to positively express themselves, enhance their literacy skills and explore potential careers in mass communications," said Elva Lima, vice president, Verizon strategic programs. "Verizon is fully committed to supporting organizations like the Urban Media Foundation that are making positive changes in their communities."

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.

About Verizon
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 more than 80 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 employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About Urban Media Foundation
The Urban Media Foundation (UMF) is a 501(c)(3) organization which conducts an innovative and comprehensive youth education program in the most underserved areas of Los Angeles. The mission of UMF is to educate, mentor and advocate for inner-city students who have an interest in media technology, journalism and communication. This is accomplished by providing after-school literacy workshops, specified technology trainings and practical internships.  UMF enhances employment readiness and introduces students to better career opportunities.  They also provide grants for minority students pursuing post-secondary education as media majors.  www.UrbanMediaFoundation.org