Junior Achievement of San Diego County

aka JA San Diego   |   San Diego, CA   |  http://jasandiego.org


JA San Diego's mission is to empower young people to own their economic success. Since 1950, Junior Achievement of San Diego County has provided life-changing programs to more than 1,000,000 students, in the classroom and after school, to foster an understanding of how the “real world” works. To ensure our youth are prepared for their future, Junior Achievement teaches them how to get a job, start a business and how to manage money.

Ruling year info



Mr. Siddhartha Vivek

Main address

4756 Mission Gorge Place

San Diego, CA 92120 USA

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Formerly known as

Junior Achievement of San Diego & Imperial Counties



NTEE code info

Secondary/High School (B25)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs

JA San Diego's elementary, middle and high school programs build on studies from each preceding grade and prepare students for secondary school and lifelong learning. These programs enable students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world—enhancing its relevance and increasing students’ understanding of the value of staying in school, planning for the future and making responsible financial and career decisions.

Elementary school programs enable younger students to understand their economic role in their family, community, city, state, country, and world.

Middle school programs help students see the relationship between school and the world of work, including how to start preparing for a job search. Students learn critical thinking skills, how to interpret economic data, improve their written and oral communications and work in groups effectively.

High school programs equip young adults with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to become involved citizens, productive workers, and entrepreneurs.

For a complete program list, please see our website.

Population(s) Served

Elementary school students in 4th-6th grade are not old enough to drive, work, or vote, but that does not stop them from operating banks, managing businesses, and writing checks, investing in stocks, and earning a profit at the McGrath Family JA BizTown. The McGrath Family JA BizTown is a 10,000 sq. foot mini-San Diego in which 13,000+ kids annually discover how the "real world" works. After four weeks of classroom lessons, students come to JA BizTown for the learning experience of their lives. Approximately 150 students/day become JA BizTown "citizens" where they work in one of 21 businesses, make financial decisions, pay taxes, and donate to charity. Each citizen has a job for the day, gets paid twice, manages a checking account, shops, gets health check-ups, may be interviewed on TV, and much more. The time spent at JA BizTown may be only one day, but the impact that this experiential learning provides will last a lifetime.

Population(s) Served

JA Company offers theory and real-world practice presented by business volunteers. Students form companies and attend JA Entrepreneurial Convention, a day of business workshops. Each group has an opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of local venture capitalists/business leaders. They are awarded seed money—a potential of $100 for various categories. Real dollars are deposited into their business checking accounts to be used as capital to start/run their company. Liquidation occurs three months later at The Next Big Thing Entrepreneurial Competition. Accounts must have the same amount of money they were given initially to pay back their loan. With a surplus, students choose to divide, keep and/or donate to charity.

Population(s) Served

The JA Job Shadow and Job Internship program teaches high school and after-school students work readiness skills, and to enhance the learning experience, students receive an opportunity to visit a professional work environment to learn firsthand what skills are needed to work in specific industries and roles. The ultimate goal is for students to create relationships with companies, and gain an internship. This program involves collaborations with a variety of businesses willing to offer a JA Job Shadow day. JA San Diego is also interested in JA Job Shadows and Job Internships with companies that align with future job trends, such as those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Students take career assessments, review career clusters and the job outlook for careers, participate in career planning, create an elevator pitch, and learn resume skills, the dos and don'ts of job interviews, professional and ethical behavior, networking protocols, and how to write thank you correspondence. Through JA San Diego's work across San Diego County, we have built collaborations with many companies that offer jobs in a variety of careers, including STEM careers.

Population(s) Served

JA Finance Park starts in the classroom and culminates with a daylong simulation experience on the JA San Diego campus. In the classroom, students learn how decisions they make today directly correlate to their future personal financial and career outcomes. During the 13 lessons, students are provided a login to JA Finance Park’s Career Center where they can research and select a job for the Simulation Day. Students use the Strong Interest Inventory, an evidence-based career assessment, to help them match their innate talents to a career or identify options for consideration.

During the JA Finance Park Simulation, students are given a tablet that reveals the “situation” for their profile—the “avatar family” they will be budgeting for, which includes their age, the ages of their spouse and children (if any), FICO score, how much they pay in taxes, how much they have in savings, and debt including student loans and credit cards. It also includes salary and educational information based on the job they selected during the in classroom studies. Then students visit the Circle of Life and 20 businesses to make choices and create a budget for their family’s needs. Students consider the practical aspects of their choices—decisions about food and shelter vs. a new car—needs versus wants—and the related consequences they can expect from the economic and career choices they make today and into the future.

Population(s) Served

Individuals over the age of 12 are invited to attend a personal finance budgeting simulation on scheduled nights and weekends. Participants will learn how to create a budget, save for the future, invest to grow their earnings, plan for a career and make wise spending choices! JA For Everyone is also offered to large groups, other organizations, corporate events, etc.

Population(s) Served

JA BizTown Summer Camp is an exciting week full of fun, project-based activities that will jump start your child’s entrepreneurial spirit! They will learn how to get a job, how to start a business and how money works. The camp includes “Producers Place” which encourages the campers to think outside the box and envision a new business venture including a full business plan, product and presentation. Throughout the week, the campers will also prepare to run the much anticipated The McGrath Family JA BizTown on the last day of camp!

At JA Finance Park Summer Camp, campers will enjoy a high tech high touch environment utilizing tablets and touch screens to explore their future through career exploration and personal financial management. Plan for future career opportunities and education requirements through JA activities
Teambuilding activities coupled with valuable instruction on money management. Experiential learning activities designed to help students plan for what happens when they “grow up”

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Entrepreneurial Award 2013


Gold Summit Award for Program Sustainability and Outstanding Performance 2013


Energy Star for Building 2012

U.S. Environment Protection Agency

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 1950

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who learn how to get a job, start a business and manage money.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Number of youth served by one of JA San Diego's programs.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Number of community volunteers engaged.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

JA San Diego's overarching goal is to prepare today's youth to succeed in the 21st century workplace and global economy by giving them the tools they need to graduate, earn and keep a job, and make good financial decisions. JA programs have been proven to inspire youth to stay in school, and because of each course's experiential nature, JA creates relevant connections for youth early - this carries through the youth's entire school career. JA San Diego seeks to continue to expand its reach. JA San Diego's goals include:

1. Reach 75,100 students and community members this year through its Capstone, in class and community programs
2. Maintain serving over 50% low-moderate income students who are enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) program at school
3. Improve California's Financial Literacy Score from an F to an A

JA San Diego's strategy includes:

1. Communications that position JA San Diego as a community resource. Historically, JA San Diego has been known for programs for elementary-grade youth. Now JA San Diego is expanding its reach to
serve "everyone"—more high school students, transitional age foster youth, families and nonprofit organizations in the evenings and weekends.

2. Adding powerful partnerships. Organizations such as the San Diego Unified School District, Junior League that focuses on Transitional Age Youth (TAY), organizations that serve refugees and immigrants, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Boy Scouts of America and the San Diego Community College District are choosing to partner with JA San Diego to help San Diego schools get an "A" in financial literacy. JA delivers programs that meet the robust, technological and forward-thinking demands of today's students and teachers.

3. Stronger emphasis on JA San Diego's 3-touch impact. JA's unique strategy is aimed at impacting students in San Diego by engaging them at least 3 times during elementary, middle and high school. JA's curriculum aligns with school learning standards and grows with the student. The strategy introduces financial and entrepreneurial concepts 3 times to increase graduation rates, workforce preparedness and college attendance.

JA leverages its community partnerships to impact not only as many students as possible in San Diego, but reach out to those who need it most. JA does this both in the community and through its on-site capstone programs.

JA's robust volunteer program brings community members from all types of career backgrounds into the classroom - bringing the curriculum to life, connecting students with role models, and further strengthening partnerships with local businesses and organizations.

JA has an Education Manager on staff for each geographic region of San Diego County. These staff members grow partnerships, recruit community volunteers, and ensure delivery of quality programs that meet each school's individual needs.

At the JA headquarters in Mission Valley, students come from all over San Diego County for experiential learning opportunities at the Mission Fed JA Finance Park, the McGrath Family JA BizTown, and summer day camps. The JA facility provides a unique, memorable experience that prepares students for the "real world". Thanks to JA's fundraising efforts, scholarships are available to make these experiences accessible to anyone who would like to attend, regardless of their background.

JA San Diego served 61,863 students last year, and is on track to serve at least 75,100 students this year.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


Junior Achievement of San Diego County

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Junior Achievement of San Diego County

Board of directors
as of 12/7/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Mike Brown

Dowling & Yahnke

Term: 2018 - 2019

Board co-chair

Ms. Linde Hotchkiss

Willis Towers Watson

Term: 2018 - 2019

Kevin Foley

UPS Store

Drew Schlosberg

San Diego Union-Tribune

Alan Spector


Chad Whitehead

Ernst & Young LLP

Michael Brown

Dowling & Yahnke

Linde Hotchkiss

Willis Towers Watson

Debra Schwartz

Mission Federal Credit Union

Angela Shafer-Payne

San Diego Regional Airport Authority

Candice Stephens


Jeff Etherington

Alaska Airlines

Brian Cahill

Balfour Beatty Construction

Christina La Page

Wells Fargo

Cindy Marten

San Diego Unified School District

David Miyashiro

Cajon Valley Union School District

Kristin Carpenter

Eastridge Workforce Solutions

Javed Bhaghani

Biscayne Hospitality

Christopher Finley


Scott Hollaender

UBS Financial Services

Melissa Master-Holder

LPL Financial

Jose Rocha

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC

Amy Winhoven


John Asdell

Robert Half

Sean Bogue

Jack in the Box, Inc.

Liz Carter

Perfect Bar

Bryan Clements, Esq.

The UPS Store

Cesar Enciso


Travis Frazier

Cox Media

Dr. Paul Gothold

San Diego County of Education

Hass Ibrahim

City National Bank

Josh Mello

Banc of Cal

Jae Park

Dentons US LLP

Tracy Powell

Umpqua Bank

Danette Roberts

Kaiser Permanente

Manuel Rodriguez

U.S. Bank

Omar Salah

Union Bank

Shamus Sayed

Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.

Dave Sterlitz

Dividend Financial, LLC

Dr. Matthew Tessier

Chula Vista Elementary School District

Yandro Valdez

BBVA Compass

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/7/2020,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.