Ernst & Young LLP volunteers help prepare meals for families in San Diego at Ronald McDonald House as part of the company’s EY Connect Day, one of nine volunteer projects. Photo courtesy of Basir Mohammad

Ernst & Young LLP volunteers help prepare meals for families in San Diego at Ronald McDonald House as part of the company’s EY Connect Day, one of nine volunteer projects. Photo courtesy of Basir Mohammad

More than 227 Ernst & Young LLP volunteers recently engaged in volunteering in San Diego communities. These EY volunteers joined 23,000 of their colleagues across the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America to participate in EY Connect Day, the organization’s largest signature volunteer program held on a single day. Worldwide, EY people participated in 940 volunteer projects with nearly 650 nonprofit organizations.

The San Diego EY volunteers donated over 908 hours to nine volunteer projects across San Diego for EY Connect Day this year at nonprofit organizations such as: San Diego Center for Children , Feeding America San Diego, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego and VA Medical Center, among others. For the last eight years, EY’s annual day of service, EY Connect Day, has served as the organization’s largest signature volunteer program held on a single day, and it continues to grow.

In conjunction with this year’s event, Ernst & Young LLP hosted 24 Innovation Days across the U.S. with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to help students develop business ideas for the organization’s World Series of Innovation challenges. Visit: ey.com/us.

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San Diego Jewish Academy graduating students wearing the shirts of the colleges and universities they will be attending after graduation. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Jewish Academy

‘Open Door Program’ Aims to Share Educational Opportunity

As a follow up to an Oct. 15 SDBJ Kudos/Giving column, the San Diego Jewish Academy announced an ambitious endeavor to make Jewish private school education affordable to an increasing number of families in San Diego while creating long-term sustainability, SDJA announced its “Open Door Program” beginning in the 2019/2020 school year. In this first year, the school will offer half price tuition for children in Kindergarten and 9th grade. SDJA’s vision in subsequent years is to offer half price tuition across all grades, removing cost as a barrier for a world-class private school education. 

“Open Door can be an absolute game-changer for San Diego Jewish Academy to welcome families in the area who felt our school was beyond their reach,” Chaim Heller, head of school at San Diego Jewish Academy said.

A donor is funding Open Door for students entering the program in the 2019/2020 academic year. Half price tuition continues for four years for those students as they matriculate into higher grades. Heller said the program will be piloted in two key grades with plans to expand it to all grades as targets are met.

SDJA’s Lower School recently was awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, indicating test scores in the top 15 percent of all schools nationally. Visit sdja.com/opendoor

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Trish Boaz, left, executive director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, with Joan Griffin, winner of the Heart of the Conservancy award. Photo courtesy of Delle Willett

Conservancy Says Thanks

More than 200 guests joined the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to celebrate its 9th Annual River Valley Fest themed “Filling in the Gaps” at L’Auberge in Del Mar. Guests contributed more than $100,000 for the conservancy’s education, conservation and recreation programs.

The conservancy presented the “Heart of the Conservancy” award to Joan Griffin and her late husband, Monty, for their contribution to making the Coast to Crest Trail a reality, and the “Corporate Partner of the Year” award to REI for their commitment to the conservancy’s mission, making outdoor spaces enjoyable to the public.

Mike Hogan of Fundraisers Only was the auctioneer and musicians Gregory Page and Sky Ladd provided the music. Visit sdrvc.org.

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AMN Volunteers at its sixth annual medical and community development mission in Guatemala. Photo courtesy of AMN Healthcare

Conservancy Says Thanks

More than 200 guests joined the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to celebrate its 9th Annual River Valley Fest themed “Filling in the Gaps” at L’Auberge in Del Mar. Guests contributed more than $100,000 for the conservancy’s education, conservation and recreation programs.

The conservancy presented the “Heart of the Conservancy” award to Joan Griffin and her late husband, Monty, for their contribution to making the Coast to Crest Trail a reality, and the “Corporate Partner of the Year” award to REI for their commitment to the conservancy’s mission, making outdoor spaces enjoyable to the public.

Mike Hogan of Fundraisers Only was the auctioneer and musicians Gregory Page and Sky Ladd provided the music. Visit sdrvc.org.