BOSTON - Students in Boston will be better prepared to make career decisions after they graduate, and have the skills they need, thanks to Verizon Foundation.
The foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is awarding $72,000 in EdLink grants to the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation, Bay Cove Human Services, Boston Children's Museum, Odyssey High School and WriteBoston to support school-to-career programs for students in grades seven through 12. The EdLink grant program this year is donating $400,000 statewide to some 25 organizations that support initiatives that link classroom instruction and community-based learning opportunities with the workplace. Now in its seventh year, EdLink has awarded a total of $3 million to fund educational programs at schools and other nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
The Boston programs receiving Verizon grants include:
- Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation -- $16,000 for an after-school program that introduces at-risk students from Brighton High School to Web design. Participants will be supported by mentors, visit work sites to see how Web design is applied, create Web sites for community-based organizations, and participate in employment opportunities in the technology field.
- Bay Cove Human Services -- $16,700 for its Through the Career Development Program. At Bay Cove Academy, 40 at-risk, urban teenagers will receive internships as part of a therapeutic, special education program that will link classroom curriculum to the basic skills needed to thrive in the workplace. In addition, some 20 teachers and staffers will exploit these internships to upgrade their students' skills in math and English as well as in communications, teamwork and conflict resolution.
- Boston Children's Museum -- $20,000 to work with the Boston Public Schools in a school-to-career program. TEACHBoston will enable high school students interested in education careers to strengthen their academic skills and teaching techniques by teaching elementary and middle-school children about the city's waterfront through hands-on learning activities.
- Odyssey High School, a recently created part of the Boston Public School's South Boston Education Center -- $14,500 to provide academic support to low- performing students by applying environmental sciences to real-world situations. Students will engage in activities with municipal and federal agencies to simulate corrective action in the event of an environmental emergency.
- WriteBoston, an organization funded by the Mayor's Office of Boston to improve writing competency among middle and high school students -- $5,000 for the WriteBoston Summer Writing Institute to help high school students improve their writing skills. During a weeklong camp, some 30 students will receive standard-based writing instruction, create writing projects with mentors, and visit local worksites including the Boston Globe, Harvard University and the Mayor's Office, where strong writing skills are required for success on the job.
To view a full list of grant winners, please click here.
All the grant-winners will receive their awards - which range up to $20,000 -- during ceremonies today (10/29) at the Museum of Science. (A complete list of the winners is included with this release.) Donna Cupelo, Verizon's region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, will honor the recipients at the ceremony. Guest speakers will include Dr. Michael Webb, program director for the Early College High School Initiative, a program of Jobs for the Future, and Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis, president and director of the Museum of Science, Boston.
"Verizon believes it is our corporate responsibility to better prepare students for careers that promise a brighter future," said Cupelo. "That's why Verizon has made it a priority over the years to support education and work force development initiatives. As one of the largest private employers in the commonwealth, we are committed to working with schools and nonprofits to help students forge stronger links between academics and the workplace. After all, the future success of our economy depends on the success of these young people."
An electronic portfolio with this year's EdLink winners is available at http://foundation.verizon.com/edlink.
Through its philanthropic initiatives, Verizon supports the work of the Massachusetts Department of Education's Office of School-to-Work. In addition to EdLink, Verizon also supports literacy programs including Verizon Reads, a national program that increases awareness, raises funds, encourages collaboration among literacy providers, and engages employees in literacy programs; MassINC, a series of Skills Summits across Massachusetts that address literacy issues critical to the work force and the economy; and the Department of Education's Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium pilot project, which funds five communities that serve as models of integration for literacy and support services. Overall, Verizon will invest more than $3 million in a variety of education and cultural programs in Massachusetts in 2003.
Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.