Did You Know?

Just in Time has brought on four new staff members to the Youth Services team! Please join us in welcoming Iza Le Roux, Youth Services Coordinator for our North County office supporting Basic Needs and Changing Lanes; Bryan Mancera, Youth Services Coordinator supporting Bridges to Success and our employment services; Krystal Monroe, Youth Services Coordinator supporting Rise to Resilience; and Monica Reyes, our new Youth Services Administrative Coordinator for our Mission Valley office!

October 28, 2021

Nov. 11: Coach Approach Training

Nov. 17: New Volunteer Info Session

Nov. 18: Thanksgiving Dinner Drive-Thru

Dec. 4: My First Home for the Holidays

Financial Fitness Investment Challenge

by Rachel Trujillo, Steven Silva & Nathaniel Martinez

Financial Fitness 103 recently finished their Investment Challenge! During this four-part series, youth learned how to invest through a game scenario where they each took $50,000 in theoretical money and tried to grow it over the course of 11 months. 

The game used MarketWatch to monitor real-world investment opportunities in real time. Participants were able to utilize multiple approaches to investing, including purchasing individual stocks and/or making long-term investments such as exchange traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and index funds.

The winners were chosen based on the amount of revenue made on their original $50,000 investment and were each awarded real money to invest.

1st Place ($1,500) – Alona Sorenson: 26% growth in investments
2nd Place ($1,000) – Vanessa Brunetta: 24% growth in investments
3rd Place ($750) – Jocelyn Rogers: 22% growth in investments
4th Place ($500) – Dylan Carter: 22% growth in investments
5th Place ($250) – Caleb Rendon: 20% growth in investments

Each participant utilized a different strategy, some taking more risks than others or trading at different frequencies. They also took into consideration how factors such as taxes and fees affect their investments. Their Asset Advisor volunteer coaches worked with them to provide experience-based insights.

Caleb shared, “The game provided me the courage to start investing my own money – not to see it as very intimidating as I saw it at first glance. I think my return reflects my approach to the game – I was very conservative on the companies I went in on. The ones I did kind of risk were companies that I use myself – like Apple, Nike, Walmart. The majority of my stocks were in ETFs.”

On the other hand, Alona shared that her winning approach had to do with market trends from the pandemic: “I stayed in stocks like Techtronic Industries because it owns companies like Milwaukee Tools and Ryobi Tools. Because of COVID, everyone was buying tools to fix up stuff, so their stocks kept growing and growing.”

In the end, many participants shared that they feel more confident in investing because the Investment Challenge helped them understand their options and the market better. Although the game took place over just 11 months, it was emphasized that in real life, it’s advisable to make more long-term investments based off research and knowledge, and diversify your portfolio, rather than looking for short-term gains based on current trends.

Regaining a Smile

by Amy Blum

The Just in Time community came together in a big way on October 16 to support staff member and artist Shontá Battle. Shontá, a former foster youth and JIT participant, has been struggling with the impact of multiple sclerosis and the subsequent deterioration of her jaw and teeth. The cost for the extraordinary dental treatment to rebuild her mouth totals $43,000.

And so, we teamed up with Mark Quint, owner of Quint Gallery in La Jolla, to host a cocktail reception to help raise funds for Shontá’s treatment.


The gallery space was filled with 60 supporters and Shontá’s beautiful artwork, as well as that of the Quint exhibit by local artist Gail Roberts. To every generous donor who contributed $1,000, or more, Shonta gifted one of her beautiful works of art. She sold several pieces throughout the evening and even picked up a few commission requests. And best of all, we were able to raise $16,700, putting Shonta across the finish line!

The campaign to cover her treatment also includes these other generous gifts:

  • -Just in Time’s Extraordinary Basic Needs Fund: $20,000
    -The San Diego Nice Guys: $7,500
    -Shontá’s Go Fund Me Campaign: $6,000
    -Dental discounts generously included by Dr. Matt McDonald and Dr. Ron Barry

The evening designed to help get back Shontá’s confident smile was an overwhelming one for her. “It was amazing to be surrounded and embraced by the community, something I never before envisioned. This event, and the presence of so many supporters, were a very powerful and life-changing experience for me. In a world that at times can feel cold, this event reminded me of the kindness and goodness that still exists.”