Chavay Johnson was one of thousands of Americans facing unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dreams of becoming a data scientist felt far from reach given the resources she needed to achieve her goals. She never gave up though, and about a year into the pandemic things started to look up. In November 2021, Chavay was one of 1,400 Black and Hispanic students selected to receive a scholarship through PepsiCo’s Community College Program.

“The PepsiCo Uplift Scholarship is changing my life by supporting me and enabling me to attend the certification program to achieve my goal,” she said. 

The program was launched in March 2021 to help 4,000 Black and Hispanic students afford higher education by providing financial support as well as professional mentorship to promote access and advancement for these students’ educational journeys.

"Students need more than scholarships – they need support to stay in school, finish their degrees, and access the job market," said C.D. Glin, PepsiCo global head of philanthropy at and The PepsiCo Foundation vice president. "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 … that we're bringing more students in and helping them on their academic journey."

From careers in data science to psychology and biomedical engineering, PepsiCo’s Community College Program is giving students like Chavay a chance to pursue their professional goals while providing tools for success. Program partners include Dallas College, Houston Community College, Westchester Community College and City Colleges of Chicago, and more cities are in sight.

PepsiCo says the program is a cornerstone initiative of its more than $570 million commitment over the next five years to lift up Black and Hispanic businesses and communities in the United States to address issues of inequality and create opportunity.