Press Releases

Oceanside Unified School District, Oceanside Business Community and Junior Achievement Team Up for MiraCosta’s GEAR UP Grant

May 04, 2012

To improve high school graduation, prepare for postsecondary education and increase academic performance, The Department of Education awarded MiraCosta College a GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant in partnership with Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD). To achieve these goals, Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties (JA San Diego) joined GEAR UP in a seven-year partnership.

"The partnership with Junior Achievement and GEAR UP helps to address how to teach our students financial literacy skills and workforce readiness as they explore careers they are interested in as middle school students," said Julie Johnson, the director of GEAR UP Oceanside.

Focusing on current 6th and 7th grade students at Chavez and Jefferson Middle Schools in Oceanside, GEAR UP will work with the same students for the entire seven years as they move into high school and beyond. Two schools have been assigned a program coordinator and a team of mentors from JA San Diego, a leader in providing education in economics and finances to grades K-12.

The Superintendent of Oceanside Unified School District Larry Perondi, Oceanside district staff and board members will attend the Junior Achievement days on May 17 and May 23 to support the impact this partnership will have. The Oceanside business community, consisting of experts in various industries and companies, will participate as volunteers in the classrooms. The business community partners include Palomar, MiraCosta, Union Bank, AXA-Advisors, EcoDog, Connect, California Bank and Trust, Tri City Medical Center, Transworld, California Coast and Country Homes and Neuroscience Education Institute.  

On May 17 and May 23 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., Junior Achievement invites volunteers to join the launch of the GEAR UP and Junior Achievement partnership. Participating volunteers will teach the students in a fun and interactive environment about the global economy and how career, financial and education choices can affect their futures. The organization will provide all the materials and lessons with the simple guides.

Volunteers interested in teaching on May 17 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. will train on May 10 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Those interested in teaching on May 23 from 7:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. will train on May 16 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Apple Spice will provide lunch on both days. Please contact Junior Achievement Education Manager Tanya Johnson at to sign up. 
Learn more about MiraCosta College’s GEAR UP grant on the official website at To learn more about Oceanside Unified School District, please visit For more information on JA San Diego and its programs, please visit


MIRACOSTA COLLEGE: Located 35 miles north of San Diego in a park-like setting, MiraCosta College offers Associate Degrees in University Studies, Arts, Science (Registered Nursing), as well as Certificates in nearly 50 disciplines.

OCEANSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT serves nearly 20,000 students in grades K-12.  The district is comprised of 23 campuses – 16 elementary, four middle school, and three high schools (two comprehensive and one continuation).  More than 1,300 seniors received their high school diploma as part of the graduating class of 2011.  A majority of these students will attend local institutions of higher learning, including CSUSM.    Since 1985, the state has recogni3ed 14 OUSD schools as California Distinguished Schools, including El Camino High School in both 2003 and 2009.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT is a worldwide nonprofit organization that empowers young people to own their economic success. Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties is working locally to reach 46,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2011-2012 school year, which takes 2.200 volunteers who will lead classes and experiential programs.  For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit