Actress Amber Riley arrives at NBC Universal's 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Jan. 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills

“Glee” star Amber Riley is hosting a competition for students in New York to mark Black History Month with a personal appearance from herself as the main prize.

Verizon Wireless announced today that it has launched “A Day in the Life of a History Maker” program – a partnership with the UNCF, Teacher Planet, and Get Schooled – developed to inspire and motivate high school students across the New York Metro Region by highlighting some of today’s most influential African American history makers.

Students in the New York Metro area are encouraged to participate in the program by submitting a 500 word essay about how they plan to make history.  Entries will be accepted through March 31, 2012 at the Verizon Insider website. Five lucky winners will receive a chance to meet and spend an afternoon with Riley, who plays Mercedes Jones in Fox’s hit series, in New York City.

She says, “One of the greatest things about being an actress is using my voice to help inspire fans to pursue their passions. As we celebrate Black History Month, Verizon Wireless and I are launching the A Day in the Life of a History Maker campaign. The school with the most votes wins a visit from me!”

Students can also nominate their high school through Feb. 29 to win a special visit from Riley. Voting is unlimited and the school with the most votes wins. Additionally, the actress is scheduled to star in five webisode vignettes on topics like education, empowerment, innovation, leadership and inspiration. The vignettes will coincide with themed Lesson Plans of past and present history makers that teachers will be able to download for use in their classrooms.

To further support the program, Terrence J, the star of BET’s 106 & Park, will participate in a meet and greet on Feb. 14 at the Verizon Wireless retail store located at 166 West 125th Street, New York, NY.