The question was simple: What do you care about?
Pepsi Canada put it to students at Centennial College’s Progress campus during a stop of the Refresh Project on Nov. 3 and 4.
“It’s great to see all the students coming out and standing behind the issues they care about,” Pepsi representative Deric Moxam said at the event.
A total of 186 Centennial students had their pictures taken while the event team was on campus, 34 per cent of whom said they believed the planet was the most important of the six main options they could choose from. Health, arts and culture, food and shelter, neighbourhoods, and education were the remaining choices.
In the campaign, pepsi will give millions of dollars to fund ideas the company says will change the world. The Refresh Project is open to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations that submit ideas which have a positive impact. The ideas that receive the most votes will be awarded the grants.
The Refresh Project team will visit 28 Canadian university and college campuses to allow students to participate in this interactive photo shoot, in which they have a photo taken of themselves displaying the issues they care about. Some of the photos taken on campuses will be selected to be featured in a special on campus Pepsi ad campaign.
“This is probably one of the biggest turnouts we’ve seen yet,” Moxam said. “We’ve seen up to 100 students today whereas in other schools it can be only 30 or so students a day.”
Students posed in front of the camera with hand drawn signs advocating awareness for issues such as a cleaner environment, breast cancer, animal rights and second-hand smoking.
“I think the younger generation are so passionate about their issues because they’ve grown up with that awareness,” said Dev Aujla, ambassador for the Pepsi Refresh Project and founder of DreamNow. “Sometimes you have these great ideas but there are stumbling blocks along the way, and that’s where the Pepsi Refresh Project comes in and removes some of the obstacles of getting the momentum and the money to put the idea into action.”
Students can visit the Pepsi Refresh Facebook to upload their own photos showcasing the issues they are passionate about.
Students who enter can win $5,000 towards their tuition or one of the ten $500 textbook grants. The students whose photos receive the most votes, or Facebook “likes,” will receive a $5,000 grant to be put towards the charity of their choice.