GIVING BRONX WOMEN A LEG UP

July 20, 2019 at 5:00 am

About one in three women in the Bronx are living below the poverty line. Now two powerful organizations, PepsiCo and Robin Hood, are teaming up to help 20,000 girls and women break the cycle.

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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

Aired on August 2, 2018 & July 17, 2019. 

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>> HERE'S A STARTLING STATISTIC
FOR YOU, IN NEW YORK CITY THE
POVERTY RATE FOR WOMEN IS DOUBLE
THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.
WOMEN IN THE BRONX ARE IN
PARTICULAR NEED OF SUPPORT.
THE PEPSICO FOUNDATION ANNOUNCED
A $34 MILLION GRANT TO THE WOULD
BE ROBIN HOOD FOUNDATION.
FOR WOMEN AGES 13 TO 24.
IT WILL HAVE SCRIPT ED AND
COMPUTER SCIENCE FOR ALL.
AS PART OF OUR ONGOING
INITIATIVE, CHASING THE DREAM,
POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY IN
AMERICA, TAKING A LOOK AT HOW
THIS IS WORKING TO CHANGE LIVES
FOR IMPOVERISHED WOMEN.
WE HAVE SUE NOR TON, THE VICE
PRESIDENT OF THE PEPSICO
FOUNDATION.
OUR GOOD FRIEND WES MOORE HAS
BEEN WITH US BEFORE.
AND JOSHIA ROGAS.
LET'S START WITH THE TWO OF YOU
IN THIS PARTNERSHIP.
HOW DID IT GET STARTED?
>> I WOULD LOVE TO TALK ABOUT
THAT.
IT'S SUCH A GREAT SOURCE OF
EXCITEMENT FOR US.
PEPSICO HAS COMMITTED TO INVEST
$100 MILLION TO HELP WOMEN AND
GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD.
WE ARE A GLOBAL FOOD AND
BEVERAGE COMPANY WITH VERY DEEP
ROTS IN NEW YORK.
THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY.
WE ARE FROM THIS COMMUNITY.
WE FELT STRONGLY THAT WE WANTED
TO DEVOTE A LARGE PORTION OF
THAT COMMITMENT TO NEW YORK.
AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
STATISTICS IN NEW YORK, AND YOU
TALK ABOUT SOME OF THEM, THE
CIRCUMSTANCES FOR WOMEN AND
GIRLS IN NEW YORK CITY ARE
REALLY DAUNTING, ONE IN FOUR
WOMEN LIVE IN POVERTY IN NEW
YORK CITY.
IT'S EVEN WORSE IN THE BRONX,
ONE IN THREE WOMEN LIVE IN
POVERTY.
WHEN WE DECIDED THAT WE WANTED
TO FOCUS A LARGE PORTION OF
THESE DOLLARS IN THE BRONX, OUR
FEELING WAS IT WAS CRITICALLY
IMPORTANT WE WORK WITH THE RIGHT
ORGANIZATIONS AND PICK THE RIGHT
PARTNERS.
AND SO WE FELT LIKE WE NEEDED TO
WORK WITH THE BEST.
AND ROBIN HOOD FOUNDATION IS THE
BEST.
THEY HAVE AN EXTRAORDINARY KIND
OF THUMB ON THE PULSE OF NEW
YORK CITY.
THEY REALLY UNDERSTAND THE
ISSUES THAT WOMEN AND GIRLS
FACE.
AND WE THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE IN
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST POSITION TO
HELP US PICK THE RIGHT PARTNERS
TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THE
CHALLENGES.
>> SO WHAT'S FOR YOU?
WES, WHAT MADE THIS PARTNERSHIP
MAKE SENSE TO YOU?
>> WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE
30-YEAR HISTORY OF ROBIN HOOD,
FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS IT'S BEEN
FUNDING AND CREATING THE BEST
POVERTY FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS
WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, AND
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WHILE
DOING IT, THE EXCITEMENT TO WORK
WITH SUE AND THE TEAM FROM
PEPSICO WAS A NATURAL FOR ROBIN
HOOD.
HOW DO WE COLLECTIVELY WORK TO
ADDRESS AN ISSUE THAT'S NOT JUST
IMPACTING ALL OF US, BUT AN
ISSUE THAT SHOULD BE KEEPING ALL
OF US UP AT NIGHT.
THE BENEFIT OF GETTING IT RIGHT
AND THE CHALLENGE WHEN WE GET IT
WRONG.
TO HAVE A PLACE FOCUS.
>> WHAT ARE YOU HOPING WILL COME
FROM THIS?
>> WE HAVE COMMITTED $4 MILLION
IN THE BRONX.
AND OUR INTENT IS TO PROVIDE THE
EDUCATION AND SKILLS AND
TRAINING AND TOOLS TO HELP
20,000 WOMEN BUILD THEIR
CAPABILITY, TO BE ABLE TO ENTER
THE TECH CENTER, GET GOOD JOBS
AND EARN A GOOD WAGE.
>> AND WE'LL GET TO YOU IN A
MOMENT, BUT TO SET THAT UP, TALK
ABOUT THE TWO PROGRAMS THAT WILL
BE PART OF THIS INITIATIVE AND
WHAT THEY PROVIDE.
>> SCRIPT ED AND ALSO COMPUTER
SCIENCE FOR ALL ARE TWO PROGRAMS
THAT REALLY FOCUS ON HOW DO WE
HAD A LEVEL OF INCLUSION AND A
LEVEL OF QUALITY WHEN IT COMES
TO TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND
COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION,
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE
FACT THAT IN NEW YORK CITY ALONE
THE THIRD FASTEST GROWING
INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK IS
TECHNOLOGY.
IF THIS IS WHERE INDUSTRIES ARE
GOING, HOW EXACTLY ARE WE
PREPARING THIS NEXT POWERFUL
GENERATION TO BE NOT JUST A PART
OF THE CONVERSATION, BUT LEADERS
IN THE CONVERSATION?
AND THESE ARE ORGANIZATIONS THAT
HAVE REALLY CREATED REALLY
COMPELLING MODELS AROUND IT.
THIS PARTNERSHIP WILL HELP TO
FUEL THAT LEVEL OF GROWTH.
>> LEADS US NICELY TO OUR
CONVERSATION TO YOU, THIS NEXT
POWERFUL GENERATION.
SO YOU WERE INVOLVED WITH THE
SCRIPT ED PROGRAM.
>> YES.
>> HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN
IT?
TELL ME, WHAT DID IT PROVIDE
YOU?
>> SCRIPT ED CAME TO MY SCHOOL
TO TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT IT
FOCUSED ON AND WHAT IT DID.
I HAD PREVIOUSLY DONE
PROGRAMMING AT GIRLS WHO CODE.
THEY WERE VOLUNTEERS AND EXPOSED
US TO MORE ABOUT WHAT SCRIPT
DOES, WHAT HTML DOES, YOU CAN
CREATE A WEBSITE AND A LOT OF
DIFFERENT PROGRAMS WITH CODING.
AND IT'S SUCH A GREAT
OPPORTUNITY AND SO NICE TO SAY I
CREATED THIS.
I DID THIS.
>> DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY KIND OF
A VISION OF YOURSELF DOING THIS
AS YOU MOVED FORWARD IN YOUR
LIFE?
>> NOT AT ALL.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THIS WAS A
MAJOR, A CAREER PATH.
I WAS EVEN CONSIDERING.
PROBABLY WHAT I WAS CONSIDERING
AT THE TIME WAS A TEACHER.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ELSE
BUT THE BASICS.
>> WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE PROGRAM
THAT MADE THE LIGHT GO OFF FOR
YOU, AND TO MAKE YOU SAY, YOU
KNOW WHAT, THIS IS REALLY
INTERESTING, AND THIS IS
SOMETHING I CAN USE AND DO
PROFESSIONALLY FOR THE REST OF
MY LIFE?
>> WELL, I SAW IT AS A PUZZLE.
YOU'RE BUILDING THINGS AND
MAKING SOMETHING TO END WITH A
PICTURE, THINGS LIKE MATH
PROBLEMS.
IT FELT KIND OF LIKE THAT.
YOU HAVE ONE THING, PUT ANOTHER
THING TOGETHER AND YOU END UP
BUILDING SOMETHING.
>> WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD
SOME FRIENDS WHO SAID TO YOU,
YOU KNOW WHAT, I HEARD WHAT YOU
WERE DOING WITH THIS SCRIPT ED
PROGRAM, AND I'M NOT SO SURE
WHAT IT IS ABOUT OR WHETHER IT'S
SOMETHING FOR ME, AND THEY ASKED
YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE, WHAT WOULD
YOU TELL THEM ABOUT IT?
>> ANYTHING THAT ACTUALLY
HAPPENED TO ME AT MY SCHOOL.
AND I SAID YOU CAN PUT THIS IN
THINGS THAT YOU LOVE, WHETHER
IT'S FASHION OR YOU LIKE BOOKS,
MAYBE HARRY POTTER, YOU CAN
LITERALLY PUT TECHNOLOGY INTO
ANYTHING THAT YOU DO.
IT REVOLVES AROUND US ALL THE
TIME.
I SAID IT'S NOT JUST A
STEREOTYPICAL THING THAT YOU SEE
OR WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD
CODING, OR COMPUTER SCIENCE.
YOU CAN MAKE IT YOUR OWN AND OWN
IT.
>> WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS GOING
FROM HERE?
>> I SEE THIS CONTINUING TO GROW
TO SCALE BECAUSE I THINK WRE
GOING TO HAVE SOME POWERFUL
EXAMPLES OF WHAT WORKS AND WHY
THIS MATTERS.
I SEE MORE SUCCESS STORIES LIKE
JOCELYN'S.
AND I SEE A MORE INCLUSIVE
CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS
FOR HOW ARE WE PREPARING OUR
COMMUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE?
YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE A
UNIQUE MOMENT RIGHT NOW TO TRULY
SHOW A LEVEL OF COLLABORATION
AND ENGAGEMENT ON COMMUNITIES
THAT OFTENTIMES HAVEN'T ALWAYS
FELT HEARD.
AND THIS IS A CHANCE TO STAND UP
COLLECTIVELY AND SAY NOT ONLY DO
WE HEAR YOU, BUT THIS
CONVERSATION IS NOT COMPLETE IF
YOU'RE NOT PART OF IT.
>> AND TO BE ABLE TO POINT TO
SOMEONE LIKE JOCELYN AND SAY, IF
YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION ABOUT THE
VALUE OF WHAT WE'RE DOING, SPEND
FIVE MINUTES WITH HER.
AND I SUSPECT THAT THAT WOULD
ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT
HAVE.
>> AGREED.
>> IT'S BEEN A DELIGHT TO MEET
YOU.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
YOU'RE DOING WONDERFULLY, AND
I'M SURE YOU'LL CONTINUE TO DO
WONDERFULLY.
GREAT WORK FROM BOTH PEPSICO AND
ROBIN HOOD.
AS A COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY,
WE'RE SO THANKFUL FOR THE WORK
YOU'RE DOING.
>> WE'LL GET TOGETHER AGAIN AND
TALK MORE.
>> THANKS VERY MUCH.
>>> FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE
PEPSICO FOUNDATION AND ROB
INHOOD'S PARTNERSHIP, VISIT US
AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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