PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation have announced a program expansion for efforts supporting Black and Hispanic students enrolled at community colleges. According to a press release, “the program aims to close the education and achievement gap for historically excluded communities by providing additional resources such as professional mentoring, financial assistance for eligible living costs such as childcare and transportation, and financial literacy courses.”
The Community College Program was launched in March 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which made living and education expenses for already struggling students even harder. It began with Started with City Colleges of Chicago, Westchester Community College, Houston Community College, and Dallas College.
“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 C.D. Glin, Global Head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo & Vice President, The PepsiCo Foundation.
He continued, “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.”
The PepsiCo Foundation’s Community College Program includes two types of scholarship, the Uplift Scholarship, for students seeking two-year associate degrees or trade certificates, and S.M.I.L.E. (Success Matters in Life & Education), for community college graduates transitioning to four-year colleges. Many of the programs covered by the Uplift Scholarship are not covered by federal student aid.
Students that receive the Uplift scholarship are also offered continued financial assistance and services designed to support their education including success coaches, access to emergency grants, and financial literacy programs. The first 25 recipients of the S.M.I.L.E. scholarship program have each received a $25,000 scholarship grant, a professional mentor from PepsiCo, and access to financial wellness courses.
“It’s a great honor to partner with PepsiCo and be included in this groundbreaking program alongside other top institutions,” said Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami Dade College. “Now more than ever, Miami Dade College remains committed to advancing Hispanic and Black student success and completion rates, as well as creating and expanding career pathways for in-demand jobs in the new global economy.”
Black and Hispanic students at the following campuses are eligible to apply for 1,400 scholarship opportunities through 2022:
- 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)