CCCS and PepsiCo Foundation Celebrate Uplift Scholars


Uplift Scholarship Program Aims to Increase College Enrollment and Completion Among Black and Hispanic Students by Addressing Critical Access Barriers

Denver, Colo. (9/29/22)Today the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges and PepsiCo Foundation celebrated hundreds of students participating in the Uplift Scholarship program, which provides financial, academic, and career support for Black and Hispanic learners pursuing in-demand credentials.

During a ceremony hosted at the Community College of Aurora (CCA), PepsiCo Foundation vice president C.D. Glin presented CCCS with a $600,000 donation that will support more than 150 students attending CCA, Community College of Denver, and Front Range Community College. In addition to scholarships, Uplift Scholars receive advising and emergency grants that boost their success.

The Uplift Scholarship program aligns with our goal to specifically reengage Black and Hispanic students—many of whom stopped out or delayed enrollment during the pandemic.
- Joe Garcia, CCCS Chancellor

“The Uplift Scholarship program aligns with our goal to specifically reengage Black and Hispanic students—many of whom stopped out or delayed enrollment during the pandemic,” said Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). “Targeting aid to these students will help us close equity gaps while fostering a diverse, skilled workforce for Colorado’s top industries.”

CCCS is one of 20 community colleges nationwide participating in the program, which commits $40 million to address education gaps and provide access to student services. The goal is to alleviate barriers that may impede Black and Hispanic learners, Glin said.

“We believe that community college is truly the gateway to the middle class, and that higher education is a key pathway to quality job opportunities that drive long-term economic mobility,” Glin said. “We’re proud to support our scholars in your journey to pursue a degree and, most importantly, to achieve your dreams.”

The scholarship is already making a big difference for Jandier Arismendy, an Uplift Scholar majoring in interpretation at CCA. The Venezuela native plans to use his gift for languages in the legal field.

“When the semester began, I was thrilled to learn that I would receive an Uplift Scholarship to assist with my educational expenses,” he said. “I can reduce my workload and concentrate on my academics with the money I will save on tuition. That is crucial in the current economic environment, where everything seems to cost more.”

Leslie Cordova, a fellow Uplift Scholar at CCA, said the financial support will help her complete her cybersecurity degree without added stress or worry. The first in her family to go to college, Cordova has maintained a high GPA while working full-time.

“After graduating high school, with average grades, it simply felt like college was not in the picture for me,” Cordova said. “I became a mother to my daughter, Scarlett. I realized I wanted to set a good example for my daughter and demonstrate that education and learning should be valued.”

An aspiring software engineer, Cordova said the scholarship will help her secure a better quality of life for her family and continue her education.

“Thank you, PepsiCo Foundation, for choosing me as an Uplift Scholar. Your support means more than I can express. I am so happy to know that hundreds of students like me have the chance to live out their dreams.”

The Foundation for Community Colleges will dole out more Uplift Scholarships this fall for the Spring 2023 semester. For information on applying, visit the Foundation website.

For more information on the application process, visit


About CCCS

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education and workforce development, delivering thousands of programs to over 125,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35 locations across Colorado. The System’s open-access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to high quality, affordable higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college

About the Foundation For Colorado Community Colleges

Founded in 1987, the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges advances the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the Colorado Community College System. Specifically, the Foundation actively seeks contributions from public and private sources to make scholarships available statewide, advance key programmatic initiatives, provide training and support for CCCS college foundations, and develop partnerships to implement state of the art programs that meet the workforce needs of the 21st century.

About The PepsiCo Foundation 

Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we’re focused on helping communities obtain access to food security, safe water and economic opportunity. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. Learn more at

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