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Organization Information

Junior Achievement of Northern California


Motivate disadvantaged, at-risk youth to complete their education and promote life-long financial and professional wellness through programs of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness.

Real Life

Just look around…everything you see can be a building. For Junior Achievement student Relique Lott, this advice from a volunteer mentor provided the confidence she needed to move forward with her dream career in architecture.

I had a neighbor that worked as an architect and as a freshman I started to think about it as a possible career, said Lott. I was a little nervous about how architects come up with new ideas all the time and whether I had that kind of creativity. Fortunately for Lott, mentors at Gensler, an architecture firm in San Francisco, were able to share their imaginative environment with high school students considering the field of study during a recent Job Shadow.

JA's Job Shadow program is designed to help high school students navigate the road between school and work by providing an authentic work-day experience. With Job Shadow, businesses and corporations open their doors to a select group of students, provide an overview of their industry, and give insights into their employees' daily roles and life. Mentors share information about their job functions, education, and career path.

After my experience at Gensler, said Lott, I can see how my interests in photography and filmmaking can supply me with design ideas about movement, space, light, and shapes. Without this day, it would have taken me much longer to decide my career. This experience fueled my decision! The final payoff? Gensler staff contacted JA to report Lott has been accepted into Cornell's School of Architecture!