Long-Time Organizations Come Together in Support of Youth Development

San Diego, CA | June 21, 2018
The YMCA of San Diego County (YMCA) and Junior Achievement of San Diego County (JA) today announced an expanded strategic collaboration to share resources to ensure youth are prepared for the future. This collaboration aligns JA’s mission on educating students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, with the YMCA’s focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Media Contacts

Courtney Pendleton, YMCA of San Diego County
(714) 926-8106 | [email protected]

Kristi Zimsky, JA of San Diego County
(404) 944-0414 | [email protected]

Linde Hotchkiss, outgoing Board of Directors Chair for Junior Achievement of San Diego County, said, “We’re grateful for this collaboration with the YMCA and the shared resources that will be available to us.”

Steve Rowe - JA's Interim Chief Executive OfficerSteve Rowe

As part of the effort, Steve Rowe will serve as JA’s Interim Chief Executive Officer while a search is conducted to find a new CEO. Rowe is a YMCA veteran who served 38 years with the organization before retiring in December 2016. Rowe led the YMCA of San Diego County for six years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to leading operations for the second largest YMCA Association in the country, Rowe served as the Executive Director/Vice President for the East County Family YMCAs locally where he played a vital role in growing the Y in the East County, successfully raising $20 million to build and renovate facilities.

“The YMCA and Junior Achievement are storied brands with similar missions,” said Rowe, Interim Chief Executive Officer at Junior Achievement of San Diego County. “By joining forces with JA, I’m looking forward to improving the Junior Achievement promise of ensuring every child has the skills they need to dream for a bigger and brighter future.”

The nonprofits have a unique partnership. Since 2003, various local YMCA branches have supplied volunteers to deliver JA’s financial education programs - inside the classroom, afterschool and at summer camp — to foster an understanding of how the real world works. In 2015, YMCA strengthened its commitment to JA by opening a “shop” in the high-tech budgeting center, Mission Fed JA Finance Park. The Park is an interactive environment designed to teach high school students how to make smart financial and career decisions that will last a lifetime. The YMCA shop helps students learn the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and also prepares teens for the surprising cost of child care.

Incoming Junior Achievement of San Diego County Board Chair Mike Brown said, “There is so much synergy in this collaboration, with many of our current and former Executive Committee and board members also supporting the YMCA. We are excited to work with Steve as we take Junior Achievement of San Diego to the next level.”

Junior Achievement will also benefit from the leadership of Shelly McTighe-Rippengale, current Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer for the YMCA and 30-year veteran of the Y. She will serve as the overall leadership support for the partnership and the liaison between the organizations. McTighe-Rippengale and Rowe will work closely together.

“The YMCA and Junior Achievement have a shared goal to better our community through a variety of youth development endeavors,” said Baron Herdelin-Doherty, President and CEO of the YMCA of San Diego County. “The Y is well-positioned to work with like-minded organizations that may benefit from our infrastructure. We’re excited to work with Junior Achievement on both our short and long-term collaborations, as well as other program needs that together will allow us to serve more people throughout the community.”

About the YMCA of San Diego County

The YMCA of San Diego County is the second largest Y in the nation serving more than 430,000 San Diego County residents and employing more than 5,100 people. Through a variety of programs and services focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y unites men, women and children - regardless of age, income or background - to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind and body. Visit our locations page to find your local YMCA or call (858) 292-YMCA (9622).

About Junior Achievement of San Diego County

Junior Achievement (JA) programs empower young people to own their economic success. Our goal is to get kids real-world ready by showing them how to get a job, start a business and how to manage their money. JA is celebrating a historic milestone of reaching one million students since the branch opened in 1950. Home to the popular McGrath Family JA BizTown and Mission Fed JA Finance Park, JA of San Diego will reach 65,000+ youth from 32 school districts during the 2017-18 calendar school year. JA San Diego receives support from more than 6,300 volunteers annually, including 48 board members, staff of 30 and a budget of $4 million. For the latest news and information visit: jasandiego.org.