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Aquariums: New England Aquarium Teams Up With the Verizon Foundation to Enrich Teen Internship Experience

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$50, 000 Verizon Foundation Grant Reinforces 21st Century Skills for Student Interns

The New England Aquarium (NEAq) and Verizon Foundation have joined forces to ensure that the internship experience not only provides students with a paycheck, but also reinforces the 21(st) century skills needed to succeed in the future.

NEAq received a $50, 000 grant today from the Verizon Foundation to enhance the organization’s summer internship program. During the summer months and the school year, 100 interns will work at NEAq in a variety of jobs that range from providing customer service in the gift shop to giving presentations on various aspects of marine life. The Verizon Foundation grant will provide support for workforce team building and supervisor training programs, and technology and program enhancements. Students also will use the Verizon Foundation’s Thinkfinity.org as a learning tool and educational resource in the development of their teaching and presentation skills.

Aquarium teen interns commonly make presentations before hundreds of visitors on complex subjects. Wednesday’s media event included a teen intern as master of ceremonies, a teen intern giving a talk on the Aquarium’s Gant Ocean Tank, and a teen intern showing Verizon’s regional president on how to feed a 560-pound sea turtle.

"The Aquarium’s enhanced internship program provides teens with a richer and more meaningful learning experience, " said Donna Cupelo, New England region president of Verizon. "Verizon has a long history of employing student interns and supporting the education of our youth. This partnership provides us with an invaluable opportunity to engage students in an internship experience that will give them the important skills they need to succeed in the 21(st) century."

The NEAq Teen Internship Program, which was formalized in 1992, is one of the largest employers of summer jobs for teens in Boston.

"Teen interns contribute to the Aquarium’s mission by fostering an appreciation for the environment in young people, " said Bud Ris, president and chief executive officer. "Beyond skill development and a potentially life-changing experience for the teen, there are great rewards for the Aquarium too. Teens infuse our workforce with their energy and enthusiasm, serve as role models for their peers, and help us better represent the diverse communities we serve."

About New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is one of the most prominent and popular aquariums in North America and is a recognized international leader in ocean conservation, education and research. From leading expeditions to some of the most remote places on the planet to running education programs in Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods, the New England Aquarium has a vast array of projects that are all dedicated to educating the public about the most challenging problems facing the oceans today. Visit www.neaq.org.

About Verizon Foundation

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.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide. Verizon’s Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation’s most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224, 000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com. 

See also:
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Teams Up with Verizon to Bring Mobile Magic to U.S. Parks
Aquariums: $8 Million Aquarium Opens on Vancouver Island
Aquariums: The world’s first log flume ride through a crocodile enclosure will officially launch at Weymouth Sea Life Centre 

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