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Verizon gives grant to CUNY students — The Ticker – Baruch College

October 18, 2009 | General

On Oct. 1, the Verizon Foundation made a surprise donation of $125,000 to the CUNY Leadershop Acadamy at its opening ceremony, which took place at the Hostos Community College Repertory Theater.

According to PRnewswire, the Verizon Foundation’s grant intends to finance the scholarships of 25 CUNY Leadership Academy Fellows.

Each award will consist of $5,000, which will cover the full cost of tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year.

“For the first time, students selected to be CUNY Leadership Academy Fellows will receive a scholarship as part of the program,” said Joe-Joe McManus, executive director of the academy, in the announcement.

“These scholarships will lighten the load and allow the students to focus on the rigors of their class work as well as the additional opportunities and responsibilities of the Fellows Program.”

Jay-Sheree Allen, William Leverett, and Liliete Lopez are three recipients of the Verizon Foundation grant.

In in a document provided by Rita Rodin from CUNY Matters Allen, a Jamaican immigrant and pre-med student at City College, said she will use her award to benefit Women of Excellence, Strength, and Tenacity, Inc., a nonprofit organization that she started and now leads.

“ [I want to lead] because I’ve been blessed and I’ve been charged with being a blessing to others” said Allen in theCUNY Matters document.

In the same article, Leverett, a political science and urban studies junior at Queens College, disclosed his decision to save his grant to drive future plans.

He aspires to combine the arts and policy-making to raise funds for community groups that combat social ills.

“The academy is a place that can mold you… even though you might not have a direct vision of what you want to change, it molds you into that person,” said Leverett in the CUNY Matters document. “Once your passion hits you, you can take off running,”

According to the CUNY Matters document, Lopez, a liberal arts and sciences major at Hostos Community College, plans to use her scholarship to purchase a laptop and will install software for the blind on it as well as pay for her future education at Queens College.

“I will be fighting for individual rights,” said Lopez in the CUNY Matters document. She intends to help low-income people, those with disabilities, and to ultimately run for public office.

“Supporting the education and development of future leaders in the communities we serve is a key issue for Verizon,” said Andres Irlando,

Verizon president for the New York region, in the news release. The CUNY Leadership Academy is a unique and innovative program that will help students develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

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