The PepsiCo Foundation has recently announced a $4 million grant to New York City's largest poverty-combating initiative, the Robin Hood Foundation. The organization aids in the quest for better education and workforce training programs geared towards young women in the Bronx, and the grant will specifically affect 20,000 girls from ages 13-24 in increasing their earning potential. Women in New York struggle profoundly in the workforce, with 1 in 3 - over 220,000 - living in poverty conditions.
"At PepsiCo, we believe that every person deserves a fair shot to succeed in life, no matter what we look like or where we live," said Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. "That's why we're so excited about the opportunity to join forces with the Robin Hood Foundation to help unlock the potential of thousands of young women in the Bronx, and why we're committed to lifting up women in communities all over the world, from the Middle East to Latin America to right here in the United States – because half the world is women, and when we unlock their potential, we'll all be stronger for it."
Advancing Robin Hood's legacy of finding and funding the most effective poverty-fighting programs in the city, PepsiCo's support will put young women and girls in the Bronx on the path to high-quality education and good jobs through: 1) high school equivalency, college prep, and graduation support; and 2) skills training, job training, and economic security programming.
"While potential is universal, sadly, opportunity is not," said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. "Together with our community partners, we thank PepsiCo for their leadership and their heart. We are energized and excited to work with the PepsiCo Foundation toward a day where every young woman and girl in the Bronx has the opportunity to fulfill her full potential."
The PepsiCo Foundation's grant will first support two organizations breaking down barriers for women to join New York City's thriving tech sector – a significantly underrepresented talent population in the field. The technology sector in New York is the third largest in the nation and is growing faster than any other sector in the city, yet the majority of tech professionals are men and only about one-third of the sector are from minority backgrounds. This underscores a national trend: an astounding less than 10 percent of tech talent are minority women, which impacts how tech companies can serve their diverse consumer base. The first community partners of PepsiCo's support – ScriptEd and Computer Science For All – provide coding skills and computer science education in New York City's schools to break down the key racial and gender barriers prevalent in this industry.
ScriptEd equips students in under-resourced schools with the fundamental coding skills and professional experiences that together create access to careers in technology. They bring their tuition-free programs directly to high schools, where classes are taught by software developers. Students apply their skills in paid summer internships, building the confidence and connections that are crucial for success in technology careers.
Computer Science For All (CS4All) is a 10-year public-private partnership with the City of New York, the NYC Department of Education, and leading NYC-based computer science non-profit CSNYC, with philanthropic support by the Fund for Public Schools, to scale computer science education to 100 percent of the city's public schools. CS4All's vision is that by 2025, all New York City public school students will receive at least one meaningful, high-quality computer science learning experience at each school level: elementary, middle, and high school.
PepsiCo's funding over four years will go to education and training in fields with promising career paths and strong job markets in New York. It is the largest grant that the PepsiCo Foundation has given to the greater New York City-area to date – home to PepsiCo's headquarters – and builds on PepsiCo's strong presence in the Bronx, with nearly 200 local employees leading a key distribution hub for the company's snacks and beverages.
The company hopes to leave a positive impact on both society and the environment through their signature program, Performance with Purpose, and continue to invest in women through advocating and supporting causes that improve their conditions and economic success. PepsiCo plans to invest $100 to these causes that will benefit no less than 12.5 million women worldwide by 2025 - especially in school and workforce aid - as well as utilizing Pepsi associates and executives as mentors and aids globally.
Edited by K. Fanning
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