PURCHASE, NY. — PepsiCo, Inc. and its philanthropic arm, The PepsiCo Foundation, on March 30 announced a $40 million scholarship and professional mentoring program to support Black and Hispanic community college students.
The program will offer two types of scholarships. Uplift scholarships are for students seeking two-year associate degrees or trade certificates. SMILE (Success Matters in Life and Education) scholarships are for community college graduates transitioning to four-year colleges.
Purchase-based PepsiCo is working with Dallas College, Houston Community College, Westchester Community College and City Colleges of Chicago. PepsiCo expects to add more community colleges as the program expands to more cities. The scholarship program is part of a PepsiCo initiative to commit more than $570 million over the next five years to uplift Black and Hispanic businesses and communities in the United States.
“Education is a great equalizer that enables economic growth, upward mobility and helps build generational wealth that lifts up communities over the long term,” said Ramon Laguarta, chief executive officer of PepsiCo. “With this program, we are creating a differentiated experience for students that goes beyond scholarships by providing critical training, support and other services that will put them on the path to success. Last year, PepsiCo committed to using our resources to combat deep-rooted economic disparities that have long impacted Black and Hispanic communities. We’re proud to announce this community college program today as a key part of that effort.”