CHICAGO, December 17, 2021 / PRNewswire / – PepsiCo announced today $ 175,000 in additional grants to the next round of community partners under the Pathways to Readiness and Empowerment (PREP) program. Announcement of Round 2 of Grants Strengthens PepsiCo’s Commitment to Sustainable Investing in the Future of Chicago and in high quality careers and new opportunities for the city’s youth. Launched in October 2021 and co-designed with Chicago community leaders, PREP is the $ 5 million initiative to empower and increase access to high-quality careers among nearly 3,000 black and Hispanic youth in that of Chicago South and west sides.

PREP’s newest community partners in action include Girls in the Game, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Step Up, and Teamwork Englewood.

The negative impacts of COVID-19 disproportionately impact youth of color, and black and Hispanic youth were 2.2 and 1.8 times more likely, respectively, to report experiencing racial discrimination compared to white youth in the world of work according to The Yes Project’s The State of the 2021 Youth Employment report. As the employer of nearly 5,000 neighbors in the Chicagoland region, PepsiCo strives to build a pool of talent from historically underprivileged communities. invested through professional exposure, paid mentoring, and accreditation and hiring efforts. In this context, the second series of PREP beneficiaries includes:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Chicago: Continuing an 11-year collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters, PepsiCo will support career explorations and experience-based outings for mentees living in the South and West neighborhoods, providing opportunities to discuss career options and career paths. goal setting through structured programming and organic conversations.
  • Intensify: PepsiCo will continue to support Step Up with funding that creates career development activities and hands-on work experiences with PepsiCo employees.
  • Englewood teamwork: PepsiCo’s support will build the capacity of in-demand job preparation tools in Teamwork Englewood’s existing youth programs, including career exposure and paid internship activities.
  • Girls in the game: PepsiCo is proud to continue a 13 year partnership with Girls in the Game to support their After School Middle School and Teen programs. Enhanced programming will include leader-to-leader interviews, work and career exposure programs, and volunteer opportunities for PepsiCo employees with girl-led community service activities.

“Girls in the Game’s partnership with PepsiCo is our longest-standing partnership,” said Meghan morgan, Executive Director of Girls in the Game. “This lasted because of PepsiCo’s deep commitment to supporting Chicago communities that need it most and their desire to develop meaningful and impactful volunteer opportunities for their employees. Through their support of Girls in the Game’s adolescent programs, more teens will be able to gain the valuable leadership opportunities they need to become strong, confident leaders who will make a difference in the world. “

“PepsiCo is committed to driving long-term economic growth in our southern and western communities,” said Neil pryor, President of PepsiCo Beverages North America, Central Division. “Our investment in career exposure, paid internships, accreditation and hiring is designed to support workforce readiness in under-invested neighborhoods by helping to create a pool of talent that could one day bring their skills to our team. “

The initial PREP programming was announced in October 2021 with leading community organizations Cubs Charities, Chicago Jesuit Academy, Imagine Englewood if, North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) and UCAN. With the grant received in September, SWOP is currently developing a leadership development work preparation program that addresses many of the needs and barriers of residents on the south side of Chicago. The organization plans to serve 175 young people, connect them with job preparation training, job placements, career development programs, and more.

PREP builds on the 120-year history of the company and its investments in Chicago. This program is an extension of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, a program of over $ 570 million A set of five-year commitments to create opportunity and empower Black and Hispanic people in the PepsiCo workforce, business partnerships and communities.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are loved 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 of net sales in 2020, thanks to 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 world leader in convenient foods and beverages by winning with determination. “Winning with Reason” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the market and to integrate the goal into all aspects of our business strategy and our brands. For more information, visit

About the girls in the game
Since 1995, Girls in the Game, a 501c3 nonprofit, has grown into one of the leading girls’ health and fitness organizations in Chicago. Girls in the Game has empowered more than 55,000 girls to make healthier choices and develop the confidence and leadership skills they need to be successful on and off the pitch. At Girls in the Game, every girl finds her voice, discovers her strength, and leads with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs. We are empowering all girls to be a game changer. For more information, visit

About Big Brothers Big Sisters Chicago
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Metro Chicago area is affiliated with the largest donor and volunteer supported mentorship network in the country. We provide high quality one-on-one mentoring services to over 2,200 children (ages 7-18) and their families through to cook, DuPage and Lake counties in both Illinois and Indiana. Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs the children, whom we call “Little”, with positive volunteer mentors, whom we call “Big”. Throughout their mentoring relationship, we monitor and support the match, providing safety and quality measures, as well as ideas and goals for activities. Our programs are proven to keep children in school, out of trouble, and on the path to postgraduate success.

About Step Up
Step Up believes that every girl should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of success. By offering free mentoring programs, the association works with teens facing systemic barriers to becoming confident, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of leaders. Log on to

About Englewood Teamwork
Teamwork Englewood was formed in 2003 to improve the quality of life for Englewood residents and stakeholders by facilitating economic, educational and social opportunities. Its goal is to unite many organizations serving the residents of Englewood and working towards the common goal of the community. In addition to many services, Teamwork Englewood provides mentoring, leadership and skills training to youth throughout the Englewood community. Youth in Teamwork Englewood programs have access to enrichment, personal and professional development. Teamwork Englewood’s programming is grounded in a trauma-informed lens and exposes young people to positive experiences they can use in their lives and futures.

Jessica ortiz
Rise Strategy Group
C: 312-550-0102
E: [email protected]

SOURCE PepsiCo, Inc.


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