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January 24, 2024

MAN UP's Founder Interviewed by CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America

PepsiCo Gives Back Campaign Shines Light on Local Youth Leader

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By:  Samantha Wallace

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“You need to equip a young person with all the tools they need to thrive and make it in life. But when you come from an underserved community, you need every tool that you can possibly have just to survive,” said Chris Wallace, the Co-founder of MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. and the heartbeat of the Orlando-based at-risk youth mentoring program.  

During the PepsiCo Gives Back Campaign, Stephen Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, shined a spotlight on the life work Wallace is doing in his hometown, in addition to his dedicated service of 34 years in Operations at the Frito-Lay Orlando Plant. 

At the organization’s Q3 Townhall Meeting, when asked by Williams what inspired his journey, Wallace shared, “Early on I knew I was called to work with at-risk youth.” He added, “To know I could give someone hope when they’ve given up, reassures them that there are people who truly care.”  

As a global leader in beverages and convenient foods, community is at the heart of PepsiCo. The organization recognizes the significance of catalyzing positive change in the neighborhoods where they operate and in the communities their associates call home. 

Carlos Lozano, Senior Director of Supply Chain at PepsiCo, is not surprised by the recognition of Wallace, “We are lucky we have the opportunity to support Chris and the tremendous work he does with youth in our community through his nonprofit MAN UP. He makes us proud to say he is an employee of Frito-Lay. We truly value his dedication and hard work inside and outside of our organization.” 

However, in a million years, Wallace never anticipated his calling for mentoring youth would place him before the company’s CEO, but he was raised to believe, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and places him before great men,” (Proverbs 18:16). Within two years, he envisions MAN UP working closely with Title I Schools across Orlando to better support at-risk youth, especially as it relates to their mental health.” 

Last Fall, PepsiCo Foundation awarded MAN UP a $10,000 Community Impact Grant for the launch of the organization’s new entrepreneurial and workforce development program.  

Having the support of Frito-Lay and PepsiCo means the world to Wallace, “To have an employer to believe in my passion and my life’s calling truly amplifies and accelerates our impact. My fellow colleagues often volunteer, mentor and donate and Carlos (Wallace’s manager) is extremely hands on and is one of our biggest supporters. We are truly grateful.”  

 

As January marks National Mentoring Month, MAN UP will continue to highlight mentors making a significant impact in their local community. To volunteer or learn more about MAN UP visit manupmentoring.com. 

 

About MAN UP Mentoring, Inc:

 

MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. (MAN UP) is community-based 501c (3) organization and an affiliate of My Brother’s Keeper Orlando primarily serving at-risk youth ages 11 through completion of high school or the equivalent across Metro Orlando, with a focus on delinquency prevention and intervention by providing social, educational and mentoring services. Established in 2014 by Orlando natives, brother and sister duo Christopher and Samantha Wallace. Currently, it is managed by an executive director, contractors, and a full-time staff of volunteers. MAN UP is overseen by a Board of Directors with more than 150 years of law enforcement and civilian experience, as well as advisors from the Orange County Public-school system and social services. Visit manupmentoring.com

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