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PepsiCo Gives $750,000 Grant to Warrior-Scholar Project
Illinois Ag Connection - 11/13/2017

The PepsiCo Foundation announced a grant of $750,000 to the Warrior-Scholar Project ("WSP"), an intensive program hosted at America's top universities to prepare student-veterans for the transition from a military culture to an academic culture.

The PepsiCo Foundation grant, which will vest over the next three years, will support the established one and two-week college preparatory 'boot camp' and also fund the development of a new WSP model with a business-focused curriculum to benefit and prepare recipients with relevant and practical skills in years to come. As a founding partner of the Business Initiative, PepsiCo leaders will also mentor students through their studies and ultimately as they transition into jobs.

"We are immensely grateful to all those who have sacrificed to preserve, protect, and defend our country, and we are deeply committed to not only hiring veterans, but also supporting the training they need as they transition from serving our country to pursuing a higher education, and then entering the workplace," said Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. "At PepsiCo, we have long-believed that veterans enrich our organization and bring valuable leadership skills that can immeasurably strengthen our business."

"We are delighted to partner with PepsiCo as we build the new Business Initiative and incorporate business-focused curriculum into our program," said Dr. Sid Ellington, WSP executive director. "This program extension will not only provide useful skills training, it will also help veterans and active-duty personnel who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree, gain confidence to reenter and become leaders in the classroom."

The Warrior-Scholar Project began in 2012 with a liberal arts/humanities--based curriculum. In 2015, WSP expanded the one week course offering with a second week of instruction focused on STEM curriculum. This year, approximately 250 veterans participated in the program, across the following universities: Amherst College, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Syracuse, Texas A&M, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, Yale, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, University of Notre Dame.

PepsiCo has a long legacy of military hiring and as a leading military and business partner. Last year, nearly one quarter of the company's external supply chain hires were veterans, and the Army was one of PepsiCo's top-three sources for recruits. In 2010, the company established an employee resource group called VALOR to recognize, appreciate and support PepsiCo's veterans, military members, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. PepsiCo also invests in the wider military community through organizations like Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, which provides children of fallen military an opportunity for a college education; and Operation Shower, which hosts baby showers for military moms-to-be. In addition, PepsiCo has played an active role in events like Fleet Week, the USO's September 11th annual remembrance and Carry the Load.

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