PEPSICO LAUNCHES SECOND YEAR OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAM SUPPORTING BLACK AND HISPANIC STUDENTS
BUY, NY, January 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation announce the second year of the company’s Community College program SMILE (Success Matters in Life & Education) Scholarship, providing vital support for Black and Hispanic students transitioning from select community colleges to four-year institutions. Following the success and accomplishments of the first scholars, PepsiCo is thrilled to extend this opportunity to a phenomenal new group of students and remains committed to breaking down the systemic barriers to education access faced by Black and Hispanic communities. . The program offers up to $50,000 over two years for eligible tuition and living expenses, career mentoring opportunities for PepsiCo employees, and financial wellness courses for each recipient. Eligible students enrolled in the City Colleges of Chicago, Westchester Community Collegeand Dallas College can apply here by February 28, 2022.
“We are proud of the achievements of our first SMILE Fellows and excited to relaunch this program for a second year and extend our support to brighter minds.“, said CD Glin, Global Head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo and Vice Chairman, The PepsiCo Foundation. “While two-year programs can be a ramp to higher education, financial barriers and historical inequalities have made it difficult for many students of color to take the next step in their educational journey – the transition to four-year universities.
The pandemic has disproportionately exacerbated educational disparities for Black and Hispanic students, particularly with respect to graduation rates. According to a report 2021, white students at public colleges are 250% more likely than black students and 60% more likely than Latino students to graduate. Additionally, as the pandemic has undermined transfer mobility across the country, black students have been particularly hard hit, with transfers from community colleges to four-year institutions. fall of more than 6%. PepsiCo’s program promotes access and advancement through a holistic approach that not only provides financial support to help students at the time of college entry, but addresses additional barriers – retention, completion and workforce readiness – which have a disproportionate impact on the educational and career paths of these students.
“The SMILE scholarship provided by PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation was a real game-changer for me. It gave me something I didn’t have before: options. It also gave me financial freedom. I wish every community college student could choose their dream school without financial restrictions, but that’s just not the case.” noted Tiffany Pattonrecipient of the 2021 SMILE scholarship from Westchester Community College and current student at Baruch College.
The SMILE scholarship is a key part of the PepsiCo Foundation $40 million Community College Program, which aims to close the education and achievement gap for historically excluded communities. In the program’s inaugural year, the scholarship has enabled 25 students to enroll and stay in some of the best academic institutions in the country, including Colombia University, Fordham Universitythe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignthe University of Texas at Austin and Baruch College. In addition to helping students transition to four-year colleges, the Community College Program also provides scholarships and resources for students seeking associate’s degrees or trades certificates at 20 community colleges in across the country. It aims to support 4,000 black and Hispanic students over five years.
The PepsiCo Foundation Community College Program is a foundational effort of PepsiCo, over $570 million Racial Equality Journey, a global initiative to support Black and Hispanic communities, people and businesses. Key elements of the initiative include Pepsi dig in, a multifaceted platform that encourages consumers to support black-owned restaurants; the Black Restaurants Deliver program, a free service that helps owners increase online ordering and delivery capabilities; The PepsiCo Foundation’s Black Restaurant Accelerator, a $10 million program with the National Urban League to provide support for 500 black-owned restaurants in the United States over five years; and Doritos SOLID BLACK™, a $5 million cross-platform initiative designed to strengthen the voice of black innovators and creators.
Similarly, PepsiCo recently launched Juntos Crecemos, a $50 million platform to strengthen Hispanic-owned businesses over the next five years, a key component of this platform being the PepsiCo Foundation’s IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator, which provides $10 million in funding 500 small Hispanic food and beverage business owners in 13 US cities. PepsiCo’s global commitment to advancing food security through collaboration in the communities where we live and work, Food For Good, also provides jobs and access to nutritious food for Black and Hispanic communities.
For more information on PepsiCo’s race equality journey, go online to www.pepsico.com/about/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than a billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion net sales in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Leading PepsiCo is our vision to be the global leader in convenient food and beverage by winning with purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essentials of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. By working with nonprofit organizations and experts around the world, we strive to help communities access food security, clean water and economic opportunity. We strive to have a tangible impact in the places where we live and work, collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations and our employees to bring about large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and which are of global importance. Learn more about www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.
SOURCE PepsiCo Foundation