The PepsiCo Foundation announced a $4 million grant to the Robin Hood Foundation – New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization – to support high-quality education and workforce training programs for young women and girls in the Bronx. The grant will fund initiatives to help 20,000 females ages 13-24 in the Bronx increase their earning potential, addressing an acute need in New York City’s poorest borough in which 1 in 3 women – more than 220,000 women – are living in poverty.
“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.
Through PepsiCo’s signature program, Performance with Purpose, the company aims to leave a positive imprint on the environment and society. PepsiCo has long invested in women in the communities it serves and supported causes that advance women’s economic empowerment. As part of these efforts, PepsiCo aims to invest $100 million in initiatives that will benefit at least 12.5 million women and girls around the world by 2025, with a focus on helping 1.5 million young women progress through school and be successful in the workforce. PepsiCo associates and executives also serve as mentors and volunteers with its partner organizations around the world.