CLARKSTON, Ga. – Georgia Piedmont Technical College is pleased to announce it’s been awarded $172,550 for student scholarships through the PepsiCo Foundation and American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The funds are allocated through the PepsiCo’s Foundation’s Uplift scholarship program which provides a holistic approach to filling gaps to issues such as transportation, professional development, housing and even mentorship services. In order to qualify, GPTC students must be a first-generation college student, have completed high school or a high school equivalency, be considered low-income and/or classified by the college as an underrepresented or underserved student. The high-demand programs being targeted by Georgia Piedmont are associate degrees or technical certificates of credit with a manufacturing, computer or business focus that support the food and beverage industry in some capacity.

“PepsiCo has been a long-standing, vital partner with Georgia Piedmont Technical College in building the workforce in DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties,” said GPTC President Tavarez Holston. “Being able to say our college is among a handful of two-year schools nationwide awarded this grant is testament to the confidence PepsiCo and its Foundation have in our training and educational capabilities. We are excited to expand our working relationship and bring in students who may not have had the opportunity to attend college and earn a sustainable wage otherwise.”

Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Dr. Tavarez Holston

“While money for tuition is a barrier for people seeking higher education, it’s only one part of the problem. In a time of economic uncertainty, students are being forced to choose between finishing their degree or surviving in the moment,” said C.D. Glin, President of the PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Social Impact PepsiCo said. “Access to transportation, childcare and nutritious food are only some of the additional barriers standing in the way of students achieving a better life for themselves and their families. We applaud Georgia Piedmont Technical College for all its efforts and are grateful for the part we can play through the S.M.I.L.E. and Uplift Scholarship programs. We believe organizations including our own must help to ensure support systems are in place on the road to completing their education and accessing the job market.”

Qualifying students pursuing one of the degree offerings will be awarded $2,100 while those seeking a technical certificate of credit will earn $2,400. The one-year grant has several reporting criteria to include graduation rate, transfers to 4-year colleges or universities and job placement rates. Currently, the overall job placement rate for graduates of Georgia Piedmont Technical College is over 95 percent.


Associate degrees: accounting, automotive technology, business administration, business management, computer support specialist, electronics technology, electrical & computer engineering technology, building automation systems, commercial refrigeration, HR management, industrial systems technology, mechatronics technology, precision manufacturing & maintenance and marketing management.

Technical certificates of credit: computer accounting specialist, payroll accounting specialist, logistics management specialist, logistics management technician, marketing specialist, mechatronics technician and retail merchandise manager.


About the Scholarship
Since 2020, the PepsiCo Foundation’s S.M.I.L.E (Success Matters in Life & Education) and Uplift scholarship programs have awarded nearly 2,800 scholarships to students pursuing higher education degrees and certificates – with more than 90 percent of those students on track to graduate or graduating from their program.

About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is a student-centered institution that prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. GPTC’s graduation rate for academic year 2023, as reported by the Technical College System of Georgia, was 68 percent, and its job placement rate is about 99 percent! Georgia Piedmont Tech’s Adult Education program for high school diplomas, equivalency test preparation, and English as a Second Language classes is one of the largest in the state. The College has multiple learning centers in DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties and also specializes in customized business and industry training and workforce development through its Economic Development and Continuing Education division. Learn more at

As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Dr. Melinda Robinson-Moffett, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1111, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170C; or Adrian Williams, Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1210, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-157 for assistance.