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  • Writer's pictureTyzza Macias

Illuminating Futures: Frito-Lay's Community Builder Scholarship Ignites Paths of Growth for Four Exceptional Leaders

Visuals Courtesy of Frito-Lay North America

In a landscape where the vibrant symphony of community resilience and the pursuit of knowledge harmonize, Frito-Lay's recent endeavor shines brightly as hope and motivation, casting a light on the path toward a brighter future. With a tradition of nurturing potential and expanding opportunities, the company has proudly awarded $25,000 scholarships to four extraordinary students. Far beyond their academic excellence, these young leaders stand at the forefront of their communities, championing initiatives that promise to illuminate the path toward a more promising future for everyone. This article is a tribute to their remarkable journeys, the forward-looking support of Frito-Lay, and the profound impact of their endeavors that promise to ripple through generations.

The Frito-Lay Community Builder Scholarship, a testament to the company's pledge towards education and community support, serves as a ladder for students striving towards higher education and the fulfillment of their educational expenses. Amidst 500 hopeful candidates across the U.S., a diverse panel of Frito-Lay employees, from frontline workers to executives, identified four deserving recipients. This selection process, enriched by the panel's varied experiences and commitment to PepsiCo Positive (pep+), underscores the company's holistic approach to nurturing talent and giving back to the community.

Discover the Future Leaders: Scholarship Awardees Unveiled

Mehar Bhasin from Lakeville, Connecticut, stands as an Illuminator of innovation in STEM. Her co-founding of STEAM Bloom, aimed at diminishing the gender and racial gaps within the sector, has positively impacted over 2,000 students by providing free access to computer science education. Her endeavors highlight a deep-seated passion for fostering community growth and inclusivity.

In San Antonio, Texas, Jaelyn Hardaway emerges as a figure of compassion and leadership, deeply involved in environmental and health initiatives. Her participation in the Mayor’s Youth Climate Council and the establishment of Cancer Kids First reflect her belief in the strength of community bonds and collective identity, underscoring the importance of solidarity and mutual support.

Caleb Oh, hailing from Gambrills, Maryland, embodies the spirit of youthful entrepreneurship. Through his non-profit Kid Changemakers, he's been instrumental in combating food insecurity and aiding vulnerable groups, proving that youth is no obstacle to making meaningful societal contributions.

Ramon Perez of New Rochelle, New York, exemplifies the essence of service and mentorship. As a U.S. Marine Sergeant who also dedicates time to volunteer work, he is committed to enhancing his community, demonstrating that dedication to public service can foster unity and bring about significant positive change.

The stories of Mehar, Jaelyn, Caleb, and Ramon are not just narratives of individual achievement but are testaments to the transformative power of community engagement and education. Frito-Lay's initiative is a profound reminder of the role corporations can play in uplifting future generations. Jesus Gutierrez, Frito-Lay North America DEI HR Manager and one of the judges, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the impact of diverse backgrounds and thinking in leadership and community building.

Frito-Lay's commitment extends beyond the Community Builder Scholarship. With $600,000 in scholarships provided since 2022, the company is laying down the groundwork for a future where education and opportunity are accessible to all. This initiative is part of a larger, strategic transformation focused on winning with purpose — a vision embodied by the scholarship recipients and the countless Frito-Lay employees supporting this mission.

As we celebrate the achievements of these four scholars and the visionary support from Frito-Lay, let us also reflect on how we, as individuals and communities, can contribute to building a brighter future. Whether through mentorship, volunteering, or advocacy, every effort counts in creating a world where education and community support pave the way for endless possibilities.

In the end, the Frito-Lay Community Builder Scholarship is more than just financial aid; it's a catalyst for change, inspiring others to invest in the future of our communities and the young minds that will lead them. Through the stories of Mehar, Jaelyn, Caleb, and Ramon, we find not only inspiration but a call to action — to support, to uplift, and to lead with purpose.


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