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July 28, 2005

PepsiAmerica Rejects, then Hires Homeschool Graduates

In December, 2004, two homeschool graduates' applications for employment at PepsiAmericas, Inc., Pepsi-Cola's bottler, were rejected because their diplomas were issued by their parents.

The families, both of whom were HSLDA members, immediately called for help.

HSLDA attorneys Scott Woodruff and Chris Klicka called PepsiAmerica's Corporate Staffing Manager and their corporate lawyer. While acknowledging the applicants would make excellent employees, they had difficulty giving any credence to a diploma issued by a mere parent. The call ended with no resolution, but the PepsiAmerica representatives were willing to continue working on the issue.

We sent PepsiAmerica a wide range of homeschool achievement studies and subsequently a letter making recommendations for a new policy. We followed up with numerous phone calls.

In June, our members' patience was rewarded. PepsiAmerica announced they would fully accept a parent-issued diploma accompanied by a parent-issued transcript, so long as at least one of the grades on the transcript was backed by a transcript from a private school, correspondence school, 2 or 4 year college, or university.

Many - but not all - homeschool graduates have taken at least one class from a private school, correspondence school or college. The new policy works well for these graduates, but not for others. The policy falls short of HSLDA's recommendations, but it is a good start.

PepsiAmericas, Inc. has already hired at least one homeschool graduate under this policy and they have reported to us they would like to hire more.