Memphis Grizzlies and Pepsi to launch new youth program as part of Pepsi Stronger Together campaign
Memphis, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies have partnered with Pepsi to launch new youth programming in an effort to build bridges between community, education and sustainability within the Greater Memphis Area. The program is a part the Pepsi Stronger Together expansion campaign - a series of grassroots initiatives that provide support to communities across the nation with the help of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal and the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation. The latest iteration of Pepsi Stronger Together is bringing tailored resources to not only the Memphis Grizzlies, but also the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
“Providing equitable opportunities and exposure for young people in the Memphis area is key to everything we do at the Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation,” said Abusheri Ohwofasa, Grizzlies Vice President of Community Engagement and Executive Director of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. “We applaud Pepsi for their grassroots programming and are grateful for them choosing Memphis as one of the communities in which they want to make an impact. Any time we have the opportunity to assist students at our local colleges and high schools, we’re happy to do so.”
The Grizzlies and Pepsi will launch a six to seven week basketball program focused on building bridges between youth and law enforcement. Squad Goals and Cool Down Conversations, curated by the Close The Gap Foundation, will use sports as the spark to navigate conversations such as self-esteem, youth-police relations and leadership. In addition, the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation, in partnership with LeMoyne-Owen College and University of Memphis, is facilitating the mentoring components that benefit both college and high school students who are paired together for an eight-week mentorship program to give students exposure to opportunities and lessons designed to prepare them for college and their future careers. The program, Pay It Forward, will also promote HBCU awareness through a combination of hosted HBCU college fairs throughout the Memphis region in partnership with The HBCU Awareness Foundation. Participating college students will be granted paid internships at Pepsi and other program partners to better allow them to apply their mentorship learning and life skills in the workforce.
ABOUT PEPSI STRONGER TOGETHER
Pepsi Stronger Together is a national initiative to empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources that bring people together. It was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Launched in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - engaging its network of partners in the South to shine a spotlight on essential front-line workers in a variety of industries - Pepsi Stronger Together was expanded in October of 2020 by partnering with NBA teams and charitable organizations to foster, among other things, community and police relations.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. Under this vision, Pepsi Stronger Together is continually evolving the program to respond to the cultural moment and meet the needs of communities across the United States. Stay up to date at pepsistrongertogether.com, where visitors can engage in conversation and learn about the latest community initiatives and how to give back. Follow the conversation on social media at @pepsistrongertogether.
ABOUT THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES FOUNDATION:
Harnessing the power of sport to transform lives, the Grizzlies Foundation is dedicated to closing the Opportunity Gap for children in underserved communities and, since 2004, has focused on finding, funding and creating youth mentoring and development programs that prepare students for success in college and career. Through the Foundation, the Grizzlies have invested over $53 million in schools, community organizations and innovative projects that give students the tools to achieve their full potential. In 2012, the team earned the prestigious Beyond Sport Sports Team of the Year award in acknowledgement of its commitment to meaningful community service. The team was named to the 2013 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. In 2017, the foundation was named a finalist for ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year.
For more information on the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation and the Pepsi Stronger Together Campaign, or to get involved and become a mentor visit grizzliesfoundation.org.