The PepsiCo Foundation announces the fourth class of PepsiCo Foundation S.M.I.L.E. (Success Matters in Life and Education) Scholarship recipients, including 10 City Colleges students. The S.M.I.L.E. scholarship program is designed to support students as they transition from community colleges to four-year universities, empowering them to achieve their academic and professional goals.

Since 2021, the PepsiCo Foundation has awarded this transformational scholarship to 25 City Colleges students, recognizing their strong academic records, demonstrated leadership, and future goals. This year, after four years of strong partnership, the PepsiCo Foundation increased the number of City Colleges recipients from five to ten. These ten City Colleges S.M.I.L.E. Scholars will receive up to $25,000 a year for a maximum of two years (totaling up to $50,000) from the PepsiCo Foundation. Scholars also receive access to mentors, financial wellness training, skill development workshops, and more. This year’s recipients are:

  • Mariam S. Adegbite – University of Illinois at Chicago, Human Resources Management
  • Ameena A. Adeyemo – University of Illinois at Chicago, Computer Science and Programming
  • Edgar Brizuela – University of Illinois at Chicago, Computer Science and Programming
  • Kels Cavin – Illinois Institute of Technology, Computer Science and Programming
  • Vanessa Gama – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chemical Engineering
  • Julia D. Harper – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer and Information Sciences
  • Ruby Jimenez – Loyola University Chicago, Chemistry
  • Jacob V. Morales – City Colleges of Chicago: Olive-Harvey College, Business Administration
  • Brenda Najjuma – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Computer Engineering
  • Ariba Vohra – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Accounting

Since 2020, the PepsiCo Foundation has awarded nearly 2,800 scholarships. More than 90% of recipients are on track to graduate or have already graduated.

About the PepsiCo Foundation  
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