January 24, 2023

People of PREP

Hear directly from the young people who are realizing their goals and helping provide career resources to South and West Side youth.

Quabeeny's Story with SWOP

A native of the South Side, Quabeeny “Q” Daniels knows his community. Following extenuating circumstances, Q grew up as an orphan, living with little to no food and in a poor-condition house. Q felt hopeless. He went on to finish high school but lacked resources and opportunities to attend college. That’s when he became engaged with SWOP and started to envision a future for himself. Q went on to graduate from college and is now an Employment Organizer for SWOP (funded by PREP grant), the very organization that helped change his life for the better.

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It takes a village to raise a community. We live in these communities and understand the barriers and issues. Over the past year, with the help of PREP, SWOP has impacted the lives of 24 young adults of color, giving them opportunities into new career paths and teaching them that they deserve more. We are taking the time to help them and guide them into their next step for a better quality of life.

Quabeeny Daniels

Markisha's Story with Girls in the Game

Markisha spent most of her life in between South Bend, Indiana and Chicago. As a first-year college student coming from Greater Grand Crossing, South Side of Chicago, she tries to stand out and have an optimum life condition. Markisha moved to Chicago to continue her education and expected to grow and have an enriching experience where she could finish her education and conquer her career path. Through her involvement with Girls in the Game, Markisha attended a PepsiCo networking event via PREP, which resulted in a summer internship where she worked with in the finance department on different potential PepsiCo products, chips and beverages.

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It was important for PepsiCo to partner with Girls in the Game because it helps highlight the women in the industry, as well as showcase how these women are capable of holding positions of power on par with men.

Markisha Ford

Marilyn's Story with UCAN Chicago

Marilyn Ulloa, a 22 year-old from Cicero, was eager to find her long-term endeavor – something to build towards and work upon every day. This desire led her to UCAN Chicago. After participating UCAN programs that provided her with exposure to a variety of career opportunities, Marilyn was most interested in obtaining her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Once she achieved this, UCAN matched Marilyn with PepsiCo via PREP, where she got a full-time job as a Class B CDL Driver working out of the 35th Street distribution center. Marilyn is excited to continue her career with PepsiCo and work her way to working as a Class A CDL Driver, which she is already certified for.

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There’s not a lot of big companies that have facilities on the South and West Sides. There used to be a lot of distribution centers and a lot of those have closed, PepsiCo is the only one that still has a presence. It’s important that big companies invest in the South and West Side from a workforce development standpoint to help and give opportunities back to its communities.

Marilyn Ulloa

Briana's Story with Uplift Scholars Program

Briana Brewer, a 23 year-old from the South Side and student at Olive Harvey College, is passionate about acquiring experience and skills in supply chain to stand out to employers and get on a career path to improve her quality of life. As a recipient of PepsiCo Foundation’s Uplift Scholars Program, she gained valuable career exposure through an internship in the company's Customer Integration department, received a grant for her education, and support to explore her passions and future career path.

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It’s great to see how the South and West Sides have been a priority to PepsiCo. We’re underprivileged and do not always get recognized. There are few opportunities and chances given to us, but PepsiCo hasn’t ignored us. It’s honorable of them to be such advocates for these regions. They are putting in the effort and work to support prospective individuals in many ways.

Briana Brewer