Sometimes, traveling just 2,000 miles can make a world of difference. That was the case for Frito-Lay’s Melanie Pocino, who spent four weeks in Mexico City as part of PepsiCo’s global volunteer program, PepsiCorps. While there, the Southern California-based Senior Key Account Manager, who has been with the company for more than six years, applied her professional experience in executing selling strategies to help a nonprofit develop a marketing campaign and boost donor revenue.

Powered by the company's mission of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCorps has been sending PepsiCo employees around the world since 2011 to help organizations address societal and business challenges. The program brings together employees with diverse skill sets and pairs them with organizations in need of their expertise for month-long service projects. This year, Melanie joined 11 other employees to help make long-term improvements in underserved communities in and around Mexico City. Below, get a firsthand look at her PepsiCorps experience, and see how both she and the organization benefited from the program.

PepsiCorps - MP | PepsiCo

I had the opportunity to work with NUTRE, a nonprofit started by an inspiring group of women almost 20 years ago. NUTRE not only feeds children; they help families and communities break the poverty cycle. They are currently working with 228 families, including 250 children under six years old, in rural communities.

NUTRE has a very complex model, so we helped simplify their message to make it easier to understand and explain. Then, we used that streamlined language to build a marketing campaign targeted to growing their donor base. It’s amazing what kind of progress can be made when you have a clear purpose and passion.

This process also helped me grow as a leader because it taught me a lot about teamwork, purpose and trust. The teammates I worked with came from different countries, backgrounds and beliefs, yet we built a bond of trust that I have never before experienced in such a short time. All too often we forget that the base of any strong relationship is trust, and when you earn it, that is when performance can be at its best.

Up next in our four-part PepsiCorps series: Veronica's story. To learn about past PepsiCorps trips click here.