DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As students, parents and educators struggle to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, MTN DEW® has signed on to fund national anti-bullying group Be Strong's mission to educate, encourage, engage, and mobilize students across the United States. The initiative focuses on recruiting student advocates and developing practical skills needed to help thwart bullying in their schools and communities such as resiliency and de-escalation skills, increasing the students' capacity to promote diversity and inclusion. Additionally, the organization gives the student volunteers the tools to connect their peers and students in need with real-time local resources.
In addition to corporate-led COVID-19 relief, MTN DEW is funding the advancement of Be Strong's innovative Student Representative program https://nominate.bestrong.global/ with a goal of 5,000 mobilized student leaders throughout the United States by year end. Since launching the campaign, the student volunteer program has grown 65% percent crossing the 1,000-student leader milestone.
Each Be Strong student volunteer positively impacts the people they interact with and exponentially impacts a circle of peers. At nearly 1,000 representatives, the peer impact is 500,000 and when Be Strong reaches 5,000 reps, the peer impact will be a staggering 1,250,000.
The student representatives play key leadership roles in helping forge change, and at a time when social isolation, anxiety, depression, mental health and economic challenges are creating unimaginable circumstances for students, parents and educators alike.
Be Strong provides a free mobile app https://bestrong.global/#download-app that offers an easy and convenient way to search for specific and nearby free services, providing students with power that comes from having choices. The app is actively promoted and shared by the student representatives and educators who are being enrolled by Be Strong. Since the launch of the partnership and campaign, Be Strong App usage is up by 1,000+%, with top searches for access to food, mental health emergency resources and counseling.
"Be Strong has provided much needed tools, support and resources for us to thrive," said Shirmin Apparicio, mother of a Be Strong Student Rep. "What's truly inspiring is that Be Strong gives from the heart, so you feel comfort, love, respect and inclusivity anytime you're spoken to. Be Strong is geared towards creating new, positive and innovative ways of reaching out to underserved communities. As one of the first Be Strong parents, and representative of our community in Inglewood, CA., I am an advocate for change in relation to supporting underserved communities/students. Be Strong's tools allow me the opportunity to be equipped to help."
"We have long admired the bullying prevention work that Be Strong is doing with students across the country. At DEW, we are excited to support organizations like these that encourage young leaders to act with purpose to improve our communities," said Erin Chin, Sr. Director, Marketing, MTN DEW.
"I am humbled by the willingness of MTN DEW to step up and in when our young people and communities need their support the most," said Ashleigh Cromer, executive director of Be Strong. "We need to mobilize life-saving skills to students and families now. As a society, we must prioritize our resilience. The urgency for social and emotional support for each and every student has never been greater, due to the equalization of trauma amid this crisis. With MTN DEW's generous support and firm belief in our mission, Be Strong has an opportunity to serve and work alongside young leaders from small towns to big cities at a rapid pace!"
ABOUT BE STRONG
Be Strong is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing bullying, social isolation and suicide through student-led empowerment. Its innovative student-led approach provides leadership and resilience training that features proven recommendations for organizing support groups that help instill confidence-building and bring about a positive change in themselves and others, as well as provide access to local support services. As of early August 2020, Be Strong has 1,220 student leaders in all 50 states. Be Strong's events have drawn thousands of students and have been watched online by five million students and educators.
Additional information on Be Strong events and initiatives is available at https://bestrong.global/. Be Strong is a 501(c)3 and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.
ABOUT MTN DEW
MOUNTAIN DEW®, a product of PepsiCo North America Beverages, is the No. 1 flavored carbonated soft drink in the U.S. With its one-of-a-kind citrus taste, MOUNTAIN DEW exhilarates and quenches with every sip. In addition to the original MOUNTAIN DEW and DIET MOUNTAIN DEW®, the permanent DEW® product line includes MTN DEW ICE™, MTN DEW® KICKSTART™, MOUNTAIN DEW CODE RED®, MOUNTAIN DEW PITCH BLACK®, MOUNTAIN DEW VOLTAGE®, MOUNTAIN DEW WHITE OUT®, MTN DEW® Label Series and new MTN DEW® ZERO SUGAR. For more information, check out www.mountaindew.com, www.facebook.com/mountaindew or follow on Twitter @mountaindew.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
SOURCE Be Strong