BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Verizon has awarded $495,500 in scholarships to 135 Hispanic students for the 2009-2010 school year.

The scholarship program is one of many programs Verizon and its philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation, have in place to support the Hispanic community.

“Verizon has a long history of investing in our communities and in the development of future leaders,” said Magda Yrizarry, Verizon chief diversity officer and vice president – workplace culture, diversity and compliance. “We are proud to partner with organizations that have supported the Hispanic community by helping students gain the knowledge needed to succeed in the classroom and in the workplace, and to have a positive impact in their communities.”

Among the organizations that have received grants from Verizon to fund scholarships are: the Hispanic College Fund; Hispanic Heritage Fund; Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Program at the University of Texas-Pan American; Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers National Scholarship; and the University of Puerto Rico.

In all, the Verizon Foundation has awarded more than $40 million in grants since 2006 to nonprofit organizations that benefit and serve the Hispanic community.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Verizon has created a special Hispanic Heritage Month resources section on its home page. Verizon    is a free educational Web site that contains thousands engaging educational resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education 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

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