BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Job Corps Academy student government members have qualified for grant funds through Pepsi Refresh, a program designed to give awards to civic and social projects, and now they need votes to win the funding, according to employee Scott Hatch.
The soft drink company is giving away more than $1 million a month in grants, which range from $5,000 to $250,000, to individuals, groups or businesses that are working to better their communities.
Penobscot Job Corps’ application was one of 1,000 chosen by Pepsi Refresh for January’s competition. Online voting determines the winners, said Hatch, who works in the school’s recreation department.
“We’re trying to purchase new fitness equipment to run healthy initiative programs to promote a healthy lifestyle,” he said last week. “People have to go on the website and vote for us.”
The Bangor job training facility, which provides programs for at-risk youths ages 16-24, applied for a $50,000 grant to purchase treadmills, elliptical equipment, stationary bicycles and weights.
In its online profile at the Pepsi Refresh website, the academy says that “this money will help purchase new equipment, create health and fitness classes, and promote a healthier way of life while increasing motivation and high self-esteem.”
About 400 other groups nationwide are competing for the $50,000 category grants, Hatch said.
“The top 10 [vote recipients] get the grant,” he said. “You can vote once a day.”
Penobscot Job Corps Academy’s project was ranked 281st Tuesday morning, but by 4 p.m. had moved up to 274th. Voting ends Jan. 31.
The Pepsi Refresh grants are given out in six areas: health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education.
“We’re looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. Look around your community and think about how you want to change it,” the Pepsi website states.
To vote for the Penobscot Job Corps program, or to find out more about the grant program, go to refresheverything.com/penobscot.