PepsiCo launched the Community College Program in March to support 4,000 Black and Hispanic students over five years. Editorial credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com
PepsiCo is expanding its Community College Program to an additional nine U.S. cities, intended to help close the education and achievement gap for historically excluded communities.
The program promotes access to and advancement within higher education, focusing on community colleges as they’ve historically served as growth engines for demographically and economically diverse populations.
The company supports students with such resources as financial assistance, financial literacy courses, access to emergency grants, and professional mentoring, including financial assistance for childcare and transportation.
As part of its larger Racial Equality Journey initiative, the No. 3 publicly owned consumer goods company is expanding the program to offer 1,400 scholarship opportunities through 2022 to eligible Black and Hispanic students attending the following schools:
Los Angeles Community College District (Los Angeles, CA)
Miami Dade College (Miami, FL)
Wayne County Community College District (Detroit, MI)
Atlanta Metropolitan State College (Atlanta, GA)
Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN)
Maricopa County Community College District (Phoenix, AZ)
Valencia College (Orlando, FL)
Alamo Colleges District (San Antonio, TX)
Prince George's Community College (Largo, MD)
"Black and Hispanic students are facing an unprecedented educational crisis as enrollment rates continue to decline and dropout rates increase, often because of financial needs outside of tuition. Students need more than scholarships — they need support to stay in school, finish their degrees, and access the job market," said CD Glin, global head of philanthropy at PepsiCo and VP of The PepsiCo Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. "We launched this program to help students address some of the most critical barriers to their education and economic success, and we're proud to announce today that we're bringing more students in and helping them on their academic journey."
PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation launched the Community College Program in March to support 4,000 Black and Hispanic students over five years. In addition to the schools listed above, it also includes City Colleges of Chicago, Westchester Community College, Houston Community College and Dallas College.
The program is designed to address the underlying barriers that make it challenging for minority students to enroll, persist, and graduate. Uplift scholarships are for students seeking two-year associate degrees or trade certificates, and also provide assistance for students pursuing programs that are not often covered by federal student aid.
SMILE (Success Matters in Life & Education) scholarships are for community college graduates who are transitioning to four-year colleges. The first 25 recipients have each received a $25,000 scholarship grant, a PepsiCo professional mentor, and access to financial wellness courses.
In fireside chats at NRF 2022 this week, both Walmart U.S. president/CEO John Furner and Best Buy CEO Corie Barry reinforced the importance of providing convenient consumer experiences, as well as constantly adapting to their ever-shifting needs and expectations.