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LOS ANGELES – February 9, 2010 – Junior Achievement of Southern California (JA), a nonprofit leader in youth personal finance education, recently announced the launch of the Steps to Success Initiative, a new initiative aimed at delivering JA’s cutting edge suite of personal economics curricula to the students of East Los Angeles. The initiative was wholly‐funded by OneWest Foundation with a $225,000 grant.

Steps to Success, developed in conjunction with OneWest Foundation, is a multi‐year, multi‐grade program delivery framework, which will teach students the essentials of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness. Lesson plans range from instruction in budgeting, saving, and investing, to career exploration and personal/professional goal setting. The Steps to Success Initiative’s multi‐year framework will ensure that students receive the benefit of multiple JA programs as they progress through their school careers.

The East Los Angeles community was targeted by OneWest Foundation and Junior Achievement because it is one of the highest‐need areas in Los Angeles County, where a great majority of students are from low‐income families.

“Financial literacy education is the surest way to give today’s students a foundation for future success, and break the cycle of poverty,” said Steven T. Mnuchin, Chairman of OneWest Bank and OneWest Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Junior Achievement, to deliver the Steps to Success Initiative to the students of East Los Angeles.”

“The Steps to Success Initiative will teach students how to plan for the future and take control of their financial destiny,” said Gary Hickman, President of Junior Achievement of Southern California. “We applaud and thank OneWest for their support, which will allow us to offer the Steps to Success Initiative to some 2,400 students each year.”

About Junior Achievement:
JA of Southern California is a volunteer driven, not‐for‐profit organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness, through experiential, hands‐on programs. JA programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. This year more than 4,000 classroom volunteers will teach JA programs to over 100,000 students in ten Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Kern, King, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura. For more information, please visit

Additional Information:
Gary W. Hickman
Junior Achievement of Souther California, Inc.

Media Contact:
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Charles Sipkins
(310) 201-2040