Pakistan has a huge potential when it comes to its university graduates. Unfortunately, many of these bright young individuals often don’t get the chance to develop their skills and mindsets that are critical to achieve that potential.
A major percentage of the students are not always familiar with the career opportunities that are available to them. As a result, they often struggle to transition from their university lives to meaningful jobs and careers. PepsiCo has partnered with Amal Academy to act as the bridging gap between these students and their prospective job opportunities.
PepsiCo Amal Youth Program is a three month long fellowship that aims to instill into students – essential soft skills like confidence, public speaking, and presentation skills so they can gain meaningful employability skills after their graduation.
On the 23rd of December, PepsiCo hosted a virtual graduation ceremony for 1,600 fellows of the PepsiCo-Amal youth program. The graduating batch has a 40 percent female participation and has representation from 135 towns and villages across Pakistan.
The speakers at the ceremony were Mr. Furqan Ahmed Syed CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan, Benje Williams Co-Founder Amal Academy, Ali Siddiq the CEO of Amal Academy and Mr. Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister of Science and Technology. Jaqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.
The PepsiCo Amal Youth Program was initially launched in the Year 2018 in order to train students for soft skills. This year, the program sees itself expand into Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 96% of the 1,600 graduates have already been guaranteed entrepreneurship ventures or offers of employment.
The initiative has also partnered with 16 different universities and the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) which will guarantee graduates of the future, to be well spoken and very well equipped with the skills required for meaningful employment.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Science and Technology – Mr. Fawad Chaudhary commented at the ceremony, “I want to congratulate the 1600 fellows graduating today. I want to wish them luck and would encourage them to pursue their passions. I also want to commend PepsiCo and Amal Academy on this important collaboration.”
Furqan Ahmed Syed – CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan further added, ‘The PepsiCo – Amal Youth program lends itself to great opportunities for the youth of Pakistan. Our fellows graduating today are extremely passionate, motivated and keen to prove themselves. I am very excited to see what they will achieve for themselves and for the country.’
Ali Siddiq, the CEO of Amal Academy in his address showed further optimism of the collaboration and stated, ‘with PepsiCo’s support, we hope to further expand the program and benefit more young people going forward.”
Watch the statement by Mr. Ali Siddiq below
The graduation ceremony also highlighted the social impact aspect of the program which instills the importance of giving back to communities in the fellows. It is mandatory for each fellow to be part of a two-month project called the ‘Mega Project’ which requires for fellows to come with a workable solution to a challenge faced by their communities. Over the last two years, the fellows have delivered 615 such projects and impacted 21,256 people throughout the country.
Kudos to PepsiCo and Amal Academy for their ongoing contribution to the future of Pakistan. We wish all the very best of luck to the 1,600 graduates of the PepsiCo Amal Youth Program, you all give us hope for Pakistan’s future!
Watch Highlights Below