Press Releases

Junior Achievement Kicks Off Its First JA BizTown of the New School Year on Sept. 14

August 27, 2012

Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties will start off the 2012-2013 school year with one of the biggest events at The McGrath Family JA BizTown on Friday, Sept. 14—“Back to School with JA BizTown.” Corporate volunteers representing their sponsored shops in the life-size city will open the doors to El Toyon Elementary School fifth grade students and lead them to learn about free enterprise and how to run a business.

Sponsored by the local and national business community, JA BizTown is a unique learning experience provided for the fifth graders. A 10,000 square-foot mini-city allows the kids to get a hands-on experience while working in a bank, TV station, retail store, law firm or one of many other businesses represented in the town.

Representatives from the following JA BizTown shops—Cox Communications, Mission Federal Credit Union, Best Buy, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Procopio, Clear Channel Communications, San Diego Foundation, US Bank, Innovative Employee Solutions, SeaWorld, Sun Diego, NBC 7 San Diego, U-T San Diego, San Diego International Airport, The UPS Store, Kaiser Permanente and HG Fenton—will volunteer from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 and teach students what it is like to work in their respective business for the day.

“Having a mini version of our operations at JA BizTown teaches students about the various jobs needed to deliver cable TV, Internet and phone services to our customers – and that it goes beyond installing cable and answering calls,” said Christy Patnoe, Cox Communications’ manager of community relations. “You could have a career in everything from marketing and community relations to engineering and human resources.”

The representatives from the sponsor companies including HG Fenton CEO Mike Neal, Mission Federal Credit Union CUSO, CEO Tom Leyva, Cox Communications Community Relations Manger Christy Patnoe and more will volunteer in their own sponsored shops. The corporate volunteers will educate the El Toyon fifth grade students on how to manage their personal finances, open bank accounts, pay bills, work in teams, explore philanthropy and learn what it’s like to be a contributing member of the workforce.

To learn more about Junior Achievement of San Diego and JA BizTown, please visit


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES worked locally to reach 46,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2011-2012 school year, which took 5,500 volunteers who lead classes and experiential programs.  For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit