Customers With Disabilities

By Rose Stuckey Kirk,

Vice President of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Verizon Foundation


Today, Verizon released its 2013 Corporate Responsibility Supplement, and I invite you to take a look because this past year has been one of tremendous impact and breakthrough. At Verizon, we believe technology can provide powerful answers to the big challenges in our world, and last year – again and again – we saw the reality of this belief unfold in communities across the globe.


In the report you will read stories of how we’re working with leading nonprofit innovators to overcome challenges in education, healthcare and energy management, and how we’re expanding access to advanced mobile and cloud technologies in underserved communities.


To close the achievement gap in science and math, we provided teachers at 24 underserved schools around the country with on-going training and support on how to effectively integrate mobile technology into their instruction. The results are impressive: teachers reported that 37 percent of their students showed increased academic achievement and 59 percent of teachers were individualizing instruction more. It’s a powerful training model that works, and we’re expanding the program to reach teachers in every state as part of a public/private-sector initiative announced in February 2014 by President Obama.


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In healthcare, we are using technology to enhance access to quality care in underserved communities. In the U.S., healthcare costs nearly $3 trillion a year, and 75 percent of costs are due to chronic disease. Technology can dramatically improve productivity in this system; bring vast, immediate improvements to care; and transform people’s lives for the better. For instance, by equipping Children’s Health Fund buses in key cities with 4G LTE wireless technology and other health IT solutions, Verizon is helping to save 4,000 hours of administrative work a year, enabling medical staff to provide more effective, real-time care for underserved children and families.


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Similarly, mobile and cloud technologies provide the tools for people and institutions to use energy more efficiently. We’ve teamed up with Pecan Street Inc., a Texas-based energy research group, on a home energy trial that will empower consumers in underserved communities to make smarter choices about their energy use.


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Our report also highlights steps Verizon is taking to ensure we are acting responsibly in all our operations. Our progress includes an amendment to our Supplier Code of Conduct that explicitly protects workers’ freedoms; the launch of a Transparency Report; and a $100 million investment in green energy.


I invite you to read more about how we are applying our technology to solve big challenges, accelerating social change and creating value for our shareowners and the communities we serve.



Verizon Foundation Congratulates 2013-2014 Innovative App Challenge Winning Teams

by Employee ‎02-26-2014 02:36 PM - edited ‎02-26-2014 02:38 PM

Guest post by Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education and technology programs for the Verizon Foundation.


Today, eight teams of students across the U.S. were given news they’ve been hoping to hear for months: They are the Best in Nation winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. I’m proud to recognize these young aspiring app designers, who applied their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge, creativity and ingenuity to conceptualize mobile apps that would present solutions to problems in their schools or communities.


These students will be rewarded for their hard work with brand new tablet computers, courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America, as well as the opportunity to turn their ideas into working, downloadable apps through personal guidance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Mobile Learning @ The Media Lab.  In addition, each winning team will receive $20,000 in cash grants to advance STEM education in its school.


It has been exciting to watch these teams of middle- and high-school students move up through each successive round of the App Challenge. These students faced stiff competition from nearly 1,300 teams to become champions in their home states and then in their regions, before ascending to the national stage.  The eight Best in Nation teams, and indeed all the teams that entered the competition, have shown enthusiasm, creativity and engagement in their schools and communities that are truly inspirational.



Verizon is focused on stimulating student interest in STEM because – while STEM jobs are integral to a successful future for our country and our company – not enough students are earning degrees in STEM fields.  As a result, as many as 3 million STEM jobs are going unfilled. Verizon is taking on this challenge through initiatives like the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a competition that helps students develop skills in problem-solving, writing, production, presentation, organization and critical thinking, all of which are vital to their success in their futures in education and career.


On behalf of Verizon, I commend all the student teams that worked hard on their app concepts.  I wish every student who entered the challenge a lifetime of success in dreaming up fresh ideas and applying STEM learning to bring them to life.


The 2013-2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge Best in Nation winners are:


  • Bartlett High School, in Bartlett, Illinois with FITTASTICK!
  • Cheney Middle School in West Fargo, North Dakota with Snap Docs
  • Helena High School in Helena, Montana with Exact 3D Extract
  • Jefferson Township Middle School in Oak Ridge, New Jersey with Super Science Girl
  • North Hills Preparatory in Irving, Texas with Leave No Trace
  • Open Window School in Bellevue, Washington with HikeAbout
  • Resaca Middle School in Los Fresnos, Texas with Hello Navi
  • Westford Academy in Westford Massachusetts, with Tactillium



Click here for further information about the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, the list of Best in State and Best in Region winners, and apps developed by past winners.   


Expanding Investment and Greater Use of Technology in Education

by Employee ‎02-04-2014 01:25 PM - edited ‎02-05-2014 10:22 AM

Rose pic for blog.jpgToday, I was at Buck Lodge School in Maryland with President Obama as he stressed the importance of an initiative to connect, within the next five years, 99% of our nation’s classrooms to the Internet through high-speed broadband and wireless. Called ConnectEd, this effort is a critical element of 21st century education, and if we want to maximize its benefits for students, the government, private and non-profit sectors must all play a role in its success.


We are driving the  21st century education agenda by ensuring that teachers know exactly what to do with the high-speed broadband networks available in schools and that they understand how best to integrate technology into their classroom in the most impactful ways.


When teachers are trained properly and given the right support, the results of a technology infusion in the classroom are eye opening.  We developed the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS), a program specifically focused on comprehensive, ongoing teacher training in technology in 24 schools in underserved communities across the country.  The program is designed to train teachers to use technology effectively, and to increase student interest and achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) partners with us on this initiative.


A year into the program, we asked teachers to evaluate the impact of the training.  The results show that 59% of teachers were able to individualize their instruction, 52% of students showed increased technology proficiency, 40% of students had increased ability in problem solving and 37% showed increased academic achievement.


Congratulations to Best-in-State Student Teams in National App Challenge

by Employee ‎01-22-2014 01:12 PM - edited ‎01-22-2014 03:14 PM

BIScertificate (2).PNGGuest post by Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education and technology programs for the Verizon Foundation.



Today, 81 teams of students from middle and high schools across the country learned that they’ve earned the title of Best in State in the second Verizon Innovative App Challenge. I’m so proud to recognize these students for the hard work they put into developing ideas for mobile apps that address problems in their schools or communities. Last year’s Innovative App Challenge delivered outstanding apps and we are excited to see more innovative and creative concepts with this second competition.


I have been thrilled to see students, some as young as sixth graders, using their STEM knowledge and skills combined with their imaginations to identify problems and conceptualize solutions that can be developed into usable apps. Due to the quality of submissions, it was very difficult to choose our 2014 Best in State winners. Nearly 1,300 teams of 5-7 students registered this year! Thousands of students were inspired to work together to find real-world solutions to obstacles that mattered to them.


On behalf of Verizon, I commend every student and team that worked hard on their ideas.


Randy Milch.pngGuest post from Verizon’s Randal Milch, executive vice president, public policy, and general counsel. He leads the company's public policy, legal, regulatory, government affairs and security groups.



Verizon announced last year that in 2014 we would publish a transparency report online, after calculating the number of 2013 law enforcement requests for customer information that we received in the United States and other countries in which we do business.  Today, we are publishing that Report.


The past year saw an intense focus around the world on government demands to obtain customer data.  Although Verizon has released a great deal of information over the past few years regarding the number of law enforcement demands we’ve received, Verizon’s online Transparency Report now makes an expanded data set more easily accessible.  We will update our Transparency Report semi-annually to show the number of law enforcement demands we received in the prior six months.  


Protecting our customers’ privacy is a bedrock commitment at Verizon (Our Privacy Policy can be found online at While we have a legal obligation to provide customer information to law enforcement in response to lawful demands, we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorized by law.  Our dedicated teams carefully review each demand and reject those that fail to comply with the law.


It Takes a Village

by Employee ‎12-19-2013 01:35 PM - edited ‎12-19-2013 03:26 PM

Eva Village - Gov Christie.jpgGuest post from Samantha Yakal-Kremski, manager of employee engagement for the Verizon Foundation.



‘Tis the season to be merry and celebrate the holidays - and Verizon employees were in fine form yesterday helping to ensure that others can have a festive end to the year.  Verizon’s employees were in Paterson, NJ yesterday for a day of elfish fun, wrapping presents.   


The activity took place at Eva’s Village, a non-profit social service organization dedicated to fighting homelessness and poverty.  The Verizon team wrapped gifts for children of mothers living in Eva’s Village housing units.  The time passed quickly and by end of day the team had wrapped enough gifts to ensure that every local child and family supported by the organization can unwrap some joy over the holidays.


To add to the seasonal spirit, and provide a welcome extra pair of helping hands, Governor Chris Christie visited Eva’s Village yesterday to assist in serving the resident lunch crowd.  Our team snagged a photo opportunity with the Governor when he came by to thank the volunteers (pictured from right to left is Christie, Melody Brown, Samantha Yakal-Kremski, and Philip Puthumana) - as you can see. 



The Results of Fun Student Contest: Innovative Solutions

by Employee ‎12-18-2013 12:04 PM - edited ‎12-24-2013 10:28 AM

SouthRiv2.JPGIs it possible for 13-year olds to create an app that the medical profession finds useful?  Of course it is!  In the era of college-age students creating companies worth billions (think Facebook) and simple online games like Angry Birds becoming global entertainment--all things are possible.


That’s why it’s so exciting to see a major news outlet like write about a newly launched mobile app called Chow Checker that identifies allergens in everyday foods.  This app was created by a team of eighth-graders from New Hampshire who were one of the top 10 ‘Best In Nation’ winners in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The students created a novel solution to a serious problem affecting a growing number of children and young adults.


ABC News asked a pediatric allergist, Dr. Jonathan Field, to review the Chow Checker app.  Dr. Field’s perspective is that the app could be “profoundly helpful” for those with food allergies and that he even plans to recommend this app to his patients as a resource.


The App Challenge, which engages middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in a new way, encourages kids to think critically and to problem-solve by empowering them to design STEM-related app concepts that solve real-world problems in their communities or society at large. And the result is extraordinary solutions to everyday issues. The challenge also creates the environment for students to consider what mobile technology, which is already such an integral part of their lives, can do and how they can provide solutions which leverage that technology. 


I Want to Be Recycled

by Employee on ‎11-15-2013 12:50 PM

Can we all do more when it comes to recycling?  Yes!


Each year on November 15th, America Recycles Day (ARD) inspires us to look at recycling with fresh eyes.  This year’s slogan is “I Want to Be Recycled” and underscores the many unsuspected items that can be recycled or reused. 


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Work green, live green.  This is a motto we follow as we conduct business at Verizon.


As more smart phones and tablets enter the marketplace, we are committed to collecting used models to mitigate the rise in electronic waste.




Post Superstorm Sandy, Interns Lead by Example

by Employee ‎08-07-2013 09:58 AM - edited ‎08-08-2013 07:10 PM



For students interning at Verizon, we created an annual program to help teach ethical values. This year, we selected a special community project to help support Belmar Elementary school recover from Superstorm Sandy.


The goal is simple – teach good corporate citizenship values, and share our success with the communities in which we work.







vils-delaware-133x241.jpgVerizon recently selected the Howard High School of Technology in Delaware as one of 12 schools around the country  selected in 2013 to be a part of the two-year Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program, which since last year is providing on-going training to help educators use technology in new, innovative ways to enhance student learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.


There Are Big Ideas. Then There Are Powerful Answers.

by Employee ‎07-11-2013 10:49 PM - edited ‎07-11-2013 10:49 PM

Powerful_Answers-133x293.jpgMore than 1,000 applicants beat the July 1 deadline to enter Verizon’s first annual $10 million Powerful Answers Award competition. The award is designed to give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals an opportunity to generate innovative ideas using  wireless, wireline or cloud-based technology to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges in education, healthcare and sustainability.



Raising Awareness on World Environmental Day

by Employee ‎06-14-2013 12:08 PM - edited ‎06-14-2013 12:12 PM

blog 1.jpgJune 5th marked World Environmental Day, an annual celebration of environmental action and awareness across the globe.  It is a powerful reminder of the impact each of us has on the environment, and how we can help educate others on sustainable living.  And in the digital age, one of the most important things we teach this year is how to curb the rapidly growing problem of electronic waste.  




It Can Wait . . . What?

by Employee ‎05-14-2013 03:14 PM - edited ‎05-14-2013 03:15 PM

itcanwait_133px.jpgVerizon is joining forces with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and many others in the It Can Wait campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.


Take the pledge and spread the word. Texting and driving don't mix.



Honoring the Important Work of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project

by Employee ‎05-06-2013 06:58 PM - edited ‎05-06-2013 06:59 PM

voices-against-violence133x.jpgGuest blogger is Martha Delehanty, senior vice president of human resources for Verizon, writes about the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project's annual Voices Against Violence event and its honoree, Vice President Joe Biden, who has championed against domestic violence for more than two decades.



Verizon Invests $100 Million in Green Energy

by Employee ‎04-30-2013 08:28 AM - edited ‎04-30-2013 08:29 AM

solar-parking-133x.jpgVerizon is investing $100 million in green energy to install solar panels and fuel cells at 19 Verizon buildings around the country as part of our commitment to cut carbon intensity in half by 2020.



Our Toms River Store Takes the Crown in the Fight to Save Energy

by Employee ‎04-29-2013 06:54 PM - edited ‎04-29-2013 06:54 PM

battle of the buildings LOGO.jpgThe Verizon Wireless retail store in Toms River, N.J., place first among retails stores and third overall in the EPA’s 2012 Energy Star National Building Competition. Billed as “The Battle of the Buildings,” more than 3,000 schools, businesses, and government facilities across the country competed to see which could reduce its energy use the most in a year.



Verizon Wireless Customers Can Text to Donate to One Fund Boston

by Employee ‎04-22-2013 02:29 PM - edited ‎04-22-2013 03:55 PM

OneFundFlag-133x184.jpgVerizon Wireless customers can now text to donate to support One Fund Boston, a charity established in the wake of the April 15 attacks in Boston. Text messaging fees will be waived, and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to One Fund Boston.



New Environmental Labels and Trees for Earth Day

by Employee ‎04-22-2013 02:17 PM - edited ‎04-22-2013 02:18 PM

eco-specs-133x374.jpgTo mark Earth Day, we're launching two initiatives to help reduce our impact on the environment: our new ECO Specs label will list five key environmental factors of our wireless devices, and we'll help plant a tree for with the purchase of selected new wireless phone via our second annual Plant-a-Tree promotion, which runs through April 28.



OneFundFlag-133x184.jpgTo aid the victims of the April 15 Boston terror attacks and their families, the Verizon Foundation has pledged $100,000 to One Fund Boston, and it also will provide a 1-to-1 match of employee online donations to the fund.



An Hour to Make a Difference

by Employee ‎04-05-2013 08:27 PM - edited ‎04-05-2013 08:27 PM

375 Pearl Street during Earth Hour 2013In honor of the more than 13,600 Verizon employees who supported Earth Hour across 37 countries, Verizon is planting 6,000 trees, including 1,000 in Pillaiarkuppam Village in Puducherry, India, where American Forests is working to reforest an ecosystem along the Gingee River.



Verizon Wireless Named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

by Employee ‎03-27-2013 10:07 AM - edited ‎03-27-2013 10:34 AM

Energy Star Partner of the Year 2013 logoChief Sustainability Officer James Gowen reports that Verizon Wireless a 2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for our ongoing work to wring every possible kilowatt out of our retail store operations. We have worked closely with the EPA for more than six years, resulting in ENERGY STAR certification for all 116 of our eligible stores, and we’ve improved overall energy efficiency by 5.2 percent.



Earth Hour and Beyond: 600 Buildings and Five New Environmental Goals

by Employee ‎03-21-2013 11:03 AM - edited ‎03-21-2013 11:06 AM

earth_hour_metlife_stadium_night_133px.jpgVerizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jim Gowen blogs about our participation in Earth Hour and five new environmental goals ranging from wireless device recycling targets to expanded public reporting of our carbon footprint.



Announcing Verizon’s 2012 Annual Report

by Employee ‎03-20-2013 10:52 PM - edited ‎04-03-2013 11:05 AM

Annual-Report-blog-post-art-133x320.jpgSenior Vice President Kathy Brown writes about our just-released Annual Report and how it shows that the core of our growth strategy lies in a commitment to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges in healthcare, energy and education. 



We’re Boarding the MAGIC Bus to Save Energy

by Employee ‎03-19-2013 06:54 PM - edited ‎03-19-2013 06:57 PM

Magic Bus infographicOur Chief Sustainability Officer James Gowen blogs about a simple idea that has a big impact: introducing a fleet of buses to take our field techs from job to job in New York City.



Congratulations to the Winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge!

by Employee ‎03-18-2013 06:27 PM - edited ‎03-18-2013 06:29 PM

detail-app-challenge-winners-133x288.jpgOn behalf of the Verizon Foundation, guest blogger Justina Nixon-Sanitil congratulates the top 10 creative student teams that won the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. More than 470 student teams from across the country submitted app concepts that address a need or problem in their schools or communities. Winning team members get a tablet computer from Samsung, and team schools get a $10,000 grant for STEM education.



Join In Today to Say 'No More' to Domestic Violence

by Employee ‎03-13-2013 08:03 AM - edited ‎03-13-2013 08:05 AM

No-More-logo.jpgGuest blogger Susan Sullivan writes about Verizon's participation in the debut of NO MORE Day, a new annual event designed to increase awareness and spur action to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in this country.



STEM Career Webcast Held for App Challenge 'Best in State' Teams

by Employee ‎03-11-2013 12:54 PM - edited ‎03-11-2013 12:54 PM

STEM-panel-133x253.jpgGuest blogger Justina Nixon-Saintil discusses the STEM Career Panel webcast held for the 70 top-scoring Best in State winners in this year's Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The webcast provided middle- and high school students with greater exposure to the career opportunities available for graduates with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds.



Highest Ranked Traffic Cities and Green Cures

by Employee ‎03-01-2013 10:52 PM - edited ‎03-01-2013 10:53 PM

mobility-report-2012-cover-detail-133x.jpgBlogger James Gowen discusses the recently released ranking of the top five traffic congested areas in the United States and examines one humble but powerful alternative: Telecommuting.



Teaching Teachers Technology

by Employee ‎02-15-2013 08:57 PM - edited ‎02-15-2013 09:16 PM

Teach for America trainingTeach For America director Aisha Gayle blogs about a Verizon-sponsored teacher training session held Wednesday in New York City that shared new approaches for using technology in the classroom.


The training session was conducted in partnership with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).



Making a Difference for Our Customers & Communities
The Responsibility Blog — Learn how Verizon is using communications technology to connect people to the larger resources of the community—education, health care, accessibility and safety—in ways that make lives better. Visit the Verizon Communications Corporate Responsibility Report. We hope you will share your views with us.

To view vital speeches given by our authors, visit our speeches page.

About the Authors

Rose Kirk

V.P. of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Verizon Foundation

Photo of Rose Kirk

Rose leads Verizon's global corporate responsibility initiatives and philanthropic strategy, which focuses on applying Verizon's technology to improve education, healthcare and energy management.

James Gowen

Chief Sustainability Officer/
V.P. of Services Operations

Photo of James Gowen

James oversees Verizon’s supply chain, vehicle fleet, investment recovery, purchasing and materials management and sustainability initiatives.

Jack McArtney

Director of Corporate and Community Responsibility

Photo of Rose Kirk

Jack promotes digital wellness and online safety. He works with parents, educators, service providers, application developers and industry leaders to foster responsible use of Verizon's mobile and broadband networks.

Related Info

Policy Blog

Discuss technology and telecommunications public policy.

Verizon at Home Blog

New or improved Verizon products and services.

Verizon Foundation

Information on Verizon's efforts to reduce domestic violence and promote literacy and education.


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