MORRISTOWN, NJ — Continuing its commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness, Verizon Wireless joined with Rutgers University today to announce the creation of a new $100,000 scholarship fund at the Rutgers University School of Social Work and its Center on Violence Against Women and Children.
Named the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® Scholarship, income generated by the endowment will be used to award scholarships, annually, to at least three Rutgers graduate social work students enrolled in the School of Social Work's Master of Social Work (MSW) specialization on violence against women and children, the first such program in the country. The Rutgers University School of Social Work is one of the largest social work programs in the country. This groundbreaking scholarship on violence against women and children will prepare future social work professionals to work as executives or advocates in domestic violence and sexual assault organizations nationwide.
"We are thrilled to be selected for this unique and pioneering endowment for MSW students," said Judy Postmus, director of the Center on Violence Against Women & Children at Rutgers, School of Social Work. "With this scholarship, we are encouraging more students to learn about and work with survivors of physical and sexual violence. Plus, these graduates will then become the experts, promoting an evidenced-based social work practice and becoming mentors and instructors to future recipients of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine Scholarships."
The Verizon Wireless donation was made possible through the company's HopeLine phone recycling program, which collects old, no-longer-used cell phones at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores throughout the New Jersey. The phones are refurbished, recycled or sold and the proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups in the form of cash grants and prepaid wireless phones for victims. Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
"The HopeLine program was created more than 10 years ago as a means for Verizon Wireless to put its products and services to work to help survivors of domestic violence," said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "Its ultimate goal is to help end violence against women. This endowment extends HopeLine funding to a new generation of professionals dedicated to that common goal."
Verizon Wireless was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and has done so since January 1999, first in New Jersey and then across the U.S. Nationally, the HopeLine program has collected nearly 4.2 million wireless phones, and given more than $4 million in cash grants and nearly 40,000 phones with airtime to domestic violence prevention organizations.
In addition to a successful phone recycling program and funding for non-profit domestic violence prevention organizations, HopeLine includes free wireless service and voice mailboxes for survivors, community and corporate awareness initiatives, and a bilingual "Invest in Yourself" program designed to help survivors re-enter the workforce.
HopeLine phone donations also are accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in New Jersey and across the nation. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 65.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Rutgers University
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America's eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation's premier public research universities. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers offers more than 280 bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degree programs. The university is home to 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, and more than 150 specialized centers and institutes. For more information about the Center on Violence Against Women & Children visit http://socialwork.rutgers.edu/iff/