Verizon Foundation Awards Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts $25,000 Grant to Use Technology to Foster Students' Entrepreneurial Skills

Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts (JAEM) and the Verizon Foundation have joined forces to help develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The Verizon Foundation has donated $25,000 to support JA Titan, an innovative, interactive software program that provides high school students with the opportunity to learn business and economic concepts and gain the decision-making skills needed to succeed in college and in future careers.

Through a combination of in-class instruction from a teacher and a local business volunteer in conjunction with the program's online simulations, students gain knowledge of key concepts related to business and economics.  The students then use this information to make informed, logical decisions about a fictional company while reacting to the dynamic changes of the marketplace within the simulation.

"The Verizon Foundation has been supporting for many years Junior Achievement's efforts to help prepare students develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed in college and careers," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "The JA Titan program is a great example of how broadband technology can expand the horizons of young people by teaching them the fundamentals of running a business.  That is a great lesson to learn so early in life."

Students in the program, developed locally by JAEM in 2000, participate in a semester-long competition where they make real-time decisions regarding fictional companies, and compete against students in other classrooms across Eastern Massachusetts.   By challenging students to run the most productive and profitable online companies, students learn about multiple aspects of a company's price of product, production, marketing, capital investment, research and development, and charitable giving. 

Each semester, 12 to 15 high schools participate in the competition.  The best-performing teams compete in a live competition at the end of the semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dave Eustis, president of Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts, said, "It is through the tremendous commitment of companies like Verizon that Junior Achievement can continue to provide programs that feature hands-on, practical life lessons that promote financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.  These lessons will inspire and prepare students for the global economy in which we all work and live."

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 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, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world's largest in- and after-school learn-by-doing business education program dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a committed volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy at no cost to participating schools and other organizations.  For more information visit www.jaem.org.