Verizon Establishes Scholarship Program For Young Track Stars

OMAHA, Neb. - A new scholarship program established by Verizon and USA Track & Field (USATF) will honor top high school track and field and cross-country athletes and reward them for their academic performance as well as athletic achievements. The first scholarships will be awarded next spring.

The Verizon Youth Progress Award was announced last night at the USATF Junior Olympic Championships, held here through July 28. The USATF Junior Olympic Championships is part of the Verizon Youth Series. Verizon is the official telecommunications sponsor of USATF.

Scholarships will be presented to four high school seniors - two males and two females - during the 2002-03 academic year. The Verizon Youth Progress Award will include a $5,000 scholarship, toward the recipient's first year of college tuition, as well as a collection of USATF apparel.

"The development of this scholarship program reflects the true meaning and core goals of our sponsorship of USA Track & Field," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group. "Academic success and athletic accomplishments are a winning combination, and Verizon wants to recognize that dedication, hard work and perseverance in our young people."

Scholarship winners will be selected based on their academic performance, participation at a Verizon Youth Series event during the current year, and letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches or guidance counselors. Applicants also must live in a market served by Verizon.

To be eligible for the Verizon Youth Progress Award, student athletes must also have a minimum 3.0 grade point average for their first three years of high school and the first semester of their senior year. The Citizen's Scholarship Foundation of America, a nationwide firm that manages scholarship programs, will administer the selection process and assess candidates' financial needs.

"Verizon has been a tremendous sponsor to USATF and our Youth Programs," said Craig Masback, USA Track & Field CEO. "The Verizon Youth Progress Award takes that involvement in the future of our sport to another level. By providing scholarships to young athletes, Verizon is supporting the development of young minds and athletes that is so crucial in track and field."

The scholarship application process will begin Dec. 1, and conclude on Feb. 15, 2003. Scholarship applications will be available online at www.verizon.com/usatrackandfield and at www.usatf.org.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.