The PEERS Network spent a day at Father Joe’s Village in downtown San Diego learning about the organization and meeting with the members and board. Father Joe’s mission is to help our neighbors in need. They provide a “Continuum of Care” that promotes a pathway to self-sufficiency and independence. The most amazing thing about Father Joe’s organization is the amazing size and complexity of the services they provide and the real estate they own. The PEERS goal is to help this organization in the different ways that we have influence. We found out during the visit that one of the first and most immediate needs were the need for clothing for people going on job interviews. Since the meeting we have collected over $10,000 worth of clothing that the village members can use when they go on job interviews!
The PEERS Network came together with Biztown to educate kids about business and working together as a team. The McGrath Family JA BizTown is a 10,000 square foot mini-city in which kids discover how free enterprise really works. There are 19 life-size businesses, a non-profit organization and a city hall. Every day, 150 new students become business owners, make financial decisions, explore philanthropy and pay taxes.
Teachers spend four weeks teaching the The McGrath Family JA BizTown curriculum. Students learn principles like economics, good citizenship, and money management. Each business offers the students the opportunity to work as CEO, CFO, or a business specific job. Students apply for the job that interests them. Once they are assigned to a job, students spend time with the other employees in their business to develop their business operating budget, apply for a bank loan, create advertising, and develop their marketing strategies.
After the curriculum has been taught, the students come to The McGrath Family JA BizTown and become “grown-ups” for one day to put into practice all of the principles they have been learning in the classroom. At The McGrath Family JA BizTown, the students are in charge!! Students work in a life-sized interactive city that is designed to reflect San Diego in the businesses, landscape, and architecture. In front of City Hall, the mayor gives a speech reminding the citizens of the laws of The McGrath Family JA BizTown, and encouraging everyone to exercise their civic duty by voting. Students check the business break schedule to know when they are allowed to leave work, visit the bank, and become a consumer in the city.
The PEERS Network came together with the Equinox Center to raise money to ensure a healthy environment, vibrant communities and strong economy for the San Diego Region, Equinox Center researches and advances innovative solutions to balance regional growth with our finite natural resources. The black tie event was held at the historic La Valencia hotel in La Jolla, CA. Over 200 people came together with AARON CONTORER, the founder of the Equinox Center, to try to make a difference together.