Access Vacancy – Development Officer (F/T)

Access Youth Academy is an academic enrichment program entering its 10th year of service and has an operating budget of over $800,000. This position will be appealing for someone looking to learn and develop new approaches to annual giving with a strong focus on metrics, strategy and modern approaches to donor relations.

This full-time position reports to the organizations Development Director and is responsible for helping execute effective cultivation approaches to increase the donor base and awareness of Access Youth Academy through a variety of in person meetings, presentations, and networking opportunities with key stakeholders.

The ideal candidate will be positive and adaptable, someone who asks great questions and wants to learn. They will also be enthusiastic about transforming young lives through education and narrowing the inequality of opportunity.

Grant Identification, Research & Proposal Preparation

  • Track deadlines related to grant opportunities for government, corporate and foundation donors and communicate regularly with Development Team
  • Identify and solicit new grant opportunities that align with the mission and goals of the organization
  • Assist Development Director with follow up reports and grant tracking throughout the calendar year

Special Events & Projects

  • Work with Development and Program staff to plan and execute yearly events including a large scale 10 year anniversary gala in October
  • Support Program staff on an as needed basis

Donor Tracking, Correspondence & Recognition

  • Maintain donor database on a regular basis including but not limited to inputting donor communication updates, updating contact information, importing and exporting lists, queries, etc. when necessary
  • Compose solicitation and cultivation letters to donors and prospects
  • Prepare acknowledgement letters for all gifts
  • Work with Development Staff including Executive Director on all fundraising campaigns
  • Working with donors to ensure gifts are stewarded correctly


  • Updating organization website
  • Produce monthly newsletter and contribute to social media strategy

Education, Skills and Experience

  • Bachelors degree
  • A minimum of 1-2 years in a nonprofit or similar fundraising role.
  • Experience using Salesforce a big plus.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills including letters to donors, outreach materials, e-mail campaigns, twitter, etc.
  • Proficiency with Mac desirable.
  • Experience and ability to work with all types of constituents such as donors, volunteers, board members, community and business leaders, government officials and others.
  • Ability to work independently, demonstrate initiative, and to complete and report on assignments.
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and also remain oriented to the “big picture”.

Access Youth Academy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition or covered veteran status.

Salary Range: $38,000 – $43,000

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter together with your resume to Renato Paiva, Executive Director:


News, Press

Ruybal Becomes First Ever Student To Be Elected As A Board Member Of An Affiliate NUSEA Organization

Access Youth Academy is proud to announce that Natalie Ruybal (17 years old), has been appointed to serve a one year term on the organizations Board of Directors as the student representative of over 90 first generation college bound students from some of the most underserved communities in San Diego.

In this historic appointment, Ms. Ruybal’s passion for squash, art and robotics has seen her become the first student ever appointed to the peak decision-making body of one of the 22 National Urban Squash and Education Associations (NUSEA) member organizations.

Access Youth Academy Executive Director, Renato Paiva, highlighted this appointment as a reflection of the organizations commitment to provide leadership opportunities to students as part of the programs four pillars of academic enrichment, health and wellness, leadership and social responsibility.

“At Access Youth Academy we believe that every child should have equal access to achieve their full potential and while this will be a steep learning curve for Natalie, it will end up being an amazing opportunity for her to work with some of San Diego’s most accomplished professionals and be a strong advocate for the needs of her peers” Mr. Paiva said.

Ruybal, a junior at the award winning Preuss School at UCSD in La Jolla, was elected via a two-step process including a popular vote among Access students, and a staff selection panel.

“I am honored to have the chance to serve on the Access board. It’s a great opportunity for students like me to experience real life leadership roles first hand and give those that the program serves an all-important voice at the table.

“I want to show that young people can make a real contribution and perhaps provide a catalyst for other urban squash programs across the country to adopt student representation on their own boards” Ms. Ruybal said.

Board Chair Blair Sadler, who, as the former President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital, is no stranger to high-level board negotiations, was excited about the new perspectives Ms. Ruybal would bring to the table.

“The Board recognizes that establishing strong links between itself and the students at Access Youth Academy and providing them with a platform to present their viewpoints will result in more informed and impactful outcomes.

“Natalie is an accomplished young woman, with plenty of great ideas and will be a true asset for the board as we chart our course for the future in what is our tenth anniversary year” Mr. Sadler said.

The new student representative position will serve a full, non-consecutive, one-year term beginning in February 2016.

Executive Director Renato Paiva, Board Chair Blair Sadler, new Board Member and Access student Natalie Ruybal, together with Access supporter Samantha Begovich, celebrate this historic appointment for all NUSEA programs nationwide.

Campaigns, News

Why 2015 Was My Year for Giving Back & Why It Should Be Yours Too…

By Ryan Ginard, Development Director.

As 2015 draws to a close I’m finding myself more often than not reflecting on the year that was. Many of my own personal highlights come from dealing with the joys and challenges of a rapidly expanding family (new puppy, baby due in February), evolving as a fundraiser here in my new role at Access, and being a contributing member of my community, regardless of where I came from (its Australia if you were wondering…). I really am at a point where I’m truly excited for what my future holds.

However, for the record it has to be noted that I have been blessed with opportunities at every turn and continue to be afforded this luxury to this very day.

While I am myself a first generation college student from a true working class family (mother is a nurse, dad was a cleaner), I wasn’t born into poverty, nor did our family unit break down over my formative years. This structure, stability, and support is something many were deprived of and to me is one thing that I have never taken for granted.

Being aware of my own upbringing has shown me that giving back is paramount. I believe that no-ones life story should be pre-determined by what zip code they were born into and each and every one of us have the resources to be able to narrow the inequality of opportunity for those that are most at risk of never graduating from high school, let alone reaching their undoubted potential.

That’s ultimately what drew me to Access Youth Academy. The possibility of working first hand with amazing kids who have to overcome their own unique adversities to achieve their dreams of going to college was – yet another opportunity – too good to miss. In the end it was a great decision – there is not one day that passes when I’m not inspired by their commitment and determination to succeed.

I mentioned earlier about things being afforded to us to never be taken for granted. We can’t do this here with Access either. Its critical that we continue to support the dreams of these students by making donations to ensure they can have that extra SAT prep training, donating our time to help mentor these kids who crave advice from a friendly voice when they most need it, and much, much more.

Make no mistake, our successes are fuelled by the generosity of our donors and we continuously need them to go that extra mile to help us deliver our award winning programs.

These holidays I encourage you to help us continue making a difference in one of three ways;

  1. GiveThanks to your generous support, all Access Youth Academy services are offered with no cost to our student’s families. This year The Parker Foundation is also matching donations up to $15k!
  2. VolunteerOffer help to students with their homework, special academic projects, & applications/scholarships to extra-curriculum programs.
  3. Become a MentorMentors are committed to creating a long-lasting relationship with one of our Access Youth Academy students. Mentors provide support for their mentees in a number of situations, where all a young person needs is an experienced friend to help guide them through their academic, professional, and personal endeavors.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2016 here at Access Youth Academy. So lets not take too much time to reflect on the year that was but be excited for what we can all achieve together in the years ahead.

Happy Holidays.


Ryan recently joined the students for a community service event with The Hunger Project to help feed 620 homeless San Diegan's - a truly rewarding experience for all!
Ryan (right) recently joined the students for a community service event with The Hunger Project to help feed                                         620 homeless San Diegan’s – a truly rewarding experience for all!



Why I’m Thankful

By Christine Trinidad, Program Director

Thanksgiving has always felt more like a season than a holiday for me. The air is brisk, dusk is prettier, sweaters are back in rotation. This year is different though. Today as I was on my morning commute, I started running through all the names of the college students who could be coming home for break, wondering how long would they be here for, when would they stop by the facility, how their college experience has been going so far. I have been working with Access Youth Academy long enough now to see students growing up, continuing on to college, and now coming home for break. I get to hear about their new world and all the things they are excited about. I get to see how all their hard work in high school has paid off and that this new experience is changing them for the better in so many ways.

I am grateful that I get to wake up everyday and work towards something that is bigger than me. I get to work with people who want to help students achieve more by becoming more than they could’ve ever thought of. I am a part of something that continues to grow everyday.

I have always been a big fan of turkey. Big fan. This Thanksgiving, along with baking with my mom, I have a tradition of the season that is new to me. Something that brings me joy and is simple in its existence. I am really proud and excited to see our students and grateful to be part of the urban squash movement.




July 23, 2015 – San Diego, CA – Two exceptional students from the Access Youth Academy are currently participating in the Annual National Urban Squash and Education Association’s (NUSEA) Citizenship Tour. The tour, now in its second year, is aimed to encourage civic engagement and public service and encompasses several stops on an eight-day athletic and academic journey from New York to Washington, D.C.

Kevin Le and Johnny Hayes – who were selected through a competitive application process – joined 19 other student athletes from the 17 national urban squash programs, to learn how to become more civically engaged through the lens of civil rights and its role in shaping our nation’s identity, politics, and history.


Access Youth Academy Executive Director, Renato Paiva, highlighted that the Tour was a terrific opportunity for students to learn and think critically about the nation’s present-day issues.

“During the trip, Kevin and Johnny will have the once in a lifetime experience of spending time with leaders in government, journalism, education, policy and the nonprofit community.

“In the end it’s about inspiring these young students to make a difference and becoming informed citizens by helping them understand the importance of public service” Mr. Paiva said.


The eight day tour has already seen meetings with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Franken (D-MN) and Heitkamp (D-ND), and New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Segal.

Kevin Le, 17, was quick to mention his own tour highlights which included chance to play a game of squash with Mr. Segal at the Harvard Club and discussing the issues of student lottery picks for local charters schools, of which he was one at the Preuss School at UCSD.

“Meeting with Secretary Duncan made me feel more inspired to work hard to make sure that everyone gains the education they deserve in the future. Nobody’s education should be determined by a lottery pick.

“I know that it is really difficult to enroll in these types of schools because of their highly selective system and process. This fact makes me more motivated to become engaged in our society and try to help fight for education for all” Le said.

Kevin Le will be heading to Wesleyan College in the fall on a full 4-year scholarship, with Hayes (16) beginning his senior year at The Preuss School.


Access on The NUSEA Citizenship Tour, Day 4


Monday July 21,2015

Today was a very productive day.  I had the opportunity to speak with Elijah E. Cummings, our Congressman representative of Maryland, it was very inspiring because he taught all of us about passion and using that flaming intensity of your passion to help others. I enjoyed the fact that he told us that no matter through the good, bad and ugly, always value the things that come because it helps you grow as a person. His talk at the SquashWise facility at the Meadow Mill Club in Baltimore was very moving and personal because the SquashWise students were present with us, so there were multiple crowds of diverse, underrepresented students who could take advantage of Cummings’ great ideals.

After playing squash at the Meadow Mill Club and eating Chipotle, we headed to the Capitol of America. At first when I saw D.C., I fell in love with it because it felt like a metropolitan area similar to NYC, but it was a lot less crowded and busy. It was calm and quiet.

We then came over to visit the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, and those statues are HUGE. Stay tuned for more.

-Kevin L


Campaigns, News

Planned Giving Partnership

Access Youth Academy joins The San Diego Foundation in new planned giving partnership.

 Access Youth Academy is proud to partner with The San Diego Foundation who have shown 40 years of commitment to the success of San Diego’s nonprofit organizations, and understand that organizations such as ours are key to sustaining and enhancing the region for future generations.

This new partnership will go a long way in assisting Access in our future endowment-building and planned giving efforts including:



An endowment is a permanent fund whose assets are invested to generate income to be used for charitable purposes. An endowed gift is invested rather than spent with the investment of money generating an ongoing source of income year after year to fund our programs.

The San Diego Foundation manages over 150 nonprofit endowments with an in-house Chief Investment Officer who oversees the management of such endowments.


Access to Planned Giving Specialist

Access Youth Academy has a Development team of two staff members but in some instances of more sophisticated giving vehicles The San Diego Foundation can lend their expertise. The San Diego Foundation employs a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving, who can provide information on potential gifts of real estate, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, and various tax laws. Our specialist is also available to attend our donor meetings as appropriate.


Professionally Prepared Gift Illustrations

Joining with The San Diego Foundation allows Access Youth Academy to use specialized planned giving software and create illustrations and simple graphics of various planned giving opportunities. The document includes the gift amount, charitable deduction amount, tax implications and a comprehensive description of the specific planned gift and how it works. These illustrations are provided free of charge to Access for use with our donors. Donor names can also remain confidential.


Charitable Gift Annuity Program

In exchange for an asset, such as cash or appreciated stock, Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) provide a fixed income stream for donors and at the same time can benefit Access youth Academy. Nonprofits who want to offer this popular planned giving option are required to have a CGA license by The State of California’s Department of Insurance which is extremely expensive and due to this are normally held only by big Foundations and Universities. Because of this planned giving partnership, Access can use The San Diego Foundation’s CGA license. More than 25 nonprofits across the county have already taken advantage of this opportunity.


Charitable Trusts Program

As a partner of The San Diego Foundation, Access is able to obtain lower management fees on Charitable Trusts, savings that can be passed onto our donors. These reduced fees are due to The San Diego Foundation’s relationship with U.S. Bank Charitable Services, which manages a portion of The Foundation’s planned giving assets.

We are pleased to partner with The San Diego Foundation to offer these charitable gift opportunities. We truly believe this support will help Access become a truly sustainable nonprofit which will be able to transform young lives in perpetuity and help improve the quality of life within all of our communities.

For more information on the range of planned giving options available to donors of Access Youth Academy or to receive brochures on planned giving and charitable gift annuities please contact our Development Director, Ryan Ginard, on 858-202-0406 or via email


News, Press





Access Youth Academy has announced its 4th graduating class and their college acceptances. The six students, Anais O.  (UCSD), Chelsie D. (Colorado College), Kevin C. (Denison), Kevin L. (Wesleyan), Sarabi R. (Cal – Berkeley), and Zeke S. (UCSD), joined the Access program in 2009 and through their hard work and determination have collectively leveraged $980,000 in scholarships across their four years in college to help them begin this exciting new chapter in their lives.

Executive Director, Renato Paiva, was immensely proud of this years graduating class having seen them grow and develop into confident, driven and compassionate young adults.

“Every kid deserves an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential and these students are now well on their way to achieving this. They come to Access without many of the advantages some families in the region are blessed with, but through our program and its focus on academic enrichment, health and wellness, leadership and social responsibility, they leave with so much more – an expanded family and support network they can always call on upon.”

“Although we are sad to see them go (with many leaving San Diego for pastures new), we are excited to continue working with them through the next phase of Access’ 12 year promise” Mr. Paiva said.

This is the fourth graduating class from Access Youth Academy and next year will see a number of significant milestones. Not only will the organization celebrate its tenth year of transforming young lives, but also see the first wave of college graduates from tertiary institutions such as Columbia, Amherst, the University of Pennsylvania and five students that went to local Universities such as San Diego State and San Diego Christian College.

All six students were formally recognized for their achievements at the Access Youth Academy 2015 Graduation celebration held on Sunday June 7th, 2015.

rsz_1img_4376Photo (L-R): Scott Barton (Principal, The Preuss School UCSD), Anais O., Sarabi R., Chelsie D., Kevin C., Kevin L., Zeke S., Renato Paiva (Executive Director, Access Youth Academy)


Celebrate 2015 Graduates!

Join us in celebrating the 2015 Access Youth Academy Graduates.   Team Four’s graduation will be held on June 7th at 3PM at the home of Blair and Georgia Sadler.  Please RSVP!




Congratulations Graduates!


Access Youth Academy is very proud to introduce to you our 4th graduating class. We welcomed Team 4 into our program in 2009 and over the past six years have proudly watched them grow into the successful individuals that they are today. Through their hard work and determination they have been accepted into their dream colleges and collectively leveraged $296,900 in scholarships to help them through this exciting new chapter in their lives. Although we are sad to see them go (with many leaving San Diego for pastures new), we are excited to continue working with them through the next phase of Access’ 12 year promise.

Sarabi, 17, University of California – Berkeley
“I joined Access Youth Academy as a seventh grader because I wanted to develop a passion. I had tried a variety of sports but I didn’t have the skill or the money to be able to participate in an athletics club outside of school. I also wanted to be a part of a team; one of the things that attracted me the most about Access was the unity among everyone. I wanted to be a part of that. Access helped me along my middle and high school career by helping me develop the study habits I needed to be successful, providing me tutors to help me in subjects I was struggling with, and welcoming me to a second family. One of the things that I have enjoyed the most about being a part of Access is having the opportunity to travel. I have visited amazing cities and I’ve had the opportunity to meet incredible people that have inspired me to continue my path to college. I hope to come back and help Access in whatever way possible in order to make sure that it continues to make an impact on students lives as much as it did on mine.”

Zeke, 18, University of California – San Diego

“Joining Access as a 7th grader in 2009 was quite frightening at first. I wasn’t used to the new environment and being exposed to new surroundings. I was grateful for this opportunity because it granted me a new experience to meet new peers. Access has presented various opportunities for me to excel in the academic and athletic field. With SAT prep classes and jointed community service trips at St. Vincent de Paul, I was able to develop phenomenal working skills and leadership qualities which I didn’t have coming into Access. Throughout my years at Access, I cherish the fact that I met some of my closest friends here. As I continue through my college years, I will keep Access updated with my successes and volunteer as much as I can. ”

Anais, 18, University of California – San Diego
“I became a member of Access Youth Academy, which at the time was Surf City Squash, at the end of my 6th grade year in 2009. I was immediately attracted to the sport because it was unique and physically challenging. In the past six years of the program I’ve been able to expand my relationship with my teammates and cultivate new relationships with tutors, club members, staff, and younger Access students. Access has gone above and beyond to provide myself and the other seniors with resources like SAT tutoring and college visit trips to expand our horizons. The extensive community service organizations and hours as well as the countless roles of leadership and participation made available to us have made each and every one of us competitive college applicants. Though in the fall I will be starting a new chapter of my life by attending The University of California San Diego, I still wish to maintain my relationship with the program and its members. I’m looking forward to coming back during practices and team parties to see how the younger team members and the program continue to grow. “

Kevin L., 17,
Wesleyan University

“I’m really grateful to have entered Access Youth Academy in the beginning of my seventh grade year because I never knew how much it would change my life. Without Access, I wouldn’t have been introduced to a new family, support system, a sport that I grew to love, and the college I will soon be attending. I joined Access because I knew that it was a great chance for opportunity and success. With the great staff and volunteers, I grew to become more motivated and determined to strive for the best for myself, my family and my community. The opportunities to travel to the East Coast to participate in camps and tournaments allowed me to fall in love with the area and helped me transition to the new environment. My most favorite thing about Access is the family it gave me. No matter what, there are always feelings of family and love going on in the program, and I will always feel loved by these people. I get to share many special moments with these people that I will never forget. I vow to always come back to the program during my school breaks and give back by helping out with anything they need. I want to give back to them because this program did indeed change my life. Now as an aspiring college freshman in the fall, I will keep up to date with Access and my family to show them what their hard work and dedication has led to!”

Kevin C., 17, Denison University
“I joined Access in 7th Grade, I joined Access because I was really curious what the sport squash was and what the program was really about, but after tryouts I found out that I really like to be in this program because of all the aspect Access has to offer such as tutoring, SAT Prep, and squash opportunities. Access has provided me with many opportunities such as tutoring. For example, when i was in 8th grade my GPA started to drop dramatically because I was hanging out with the wrong crowd in school. Access offered me one to one tutoring to help me improve my grades. Most of all Access is not just a normal after-school program but it’s a life changing experience that has helped me get where I am. Access has taught me many valuable life skills and lessons. For example, Access taught me that being a good squash player isn’t everything, there are three important aspects that make an athlete extraordinary, heart, mind, and physical abilities. My Favorite thing about Access is the squash opportunities they offer such as nationals and squash tournaments. Access offers free squash tournament to all the student in Access and I really like that because it gives a chance for all the student to have fun and compete against other kids from around the country. Most of all having Access gave me the opportunities in 2013 to participate in team nationals taking place in Boston, Massachusetts, which was very thrilling because I really wanted to compete with the other programs to see which program was the best. It turned out that we won 1st place in Bu19 division which made us the first boys team to win the National Title in the history of Access. I will connect with Access when I go off to college by coming back on breaks as an alumni and sharing my experience playing college squash and my experience with college. Also, I will come back to Access to help get Access students prepared for college. I really want to spread the awareness of Access and what the program is really about so we can expand the program to help serve more students.”

Chelsie, 18, Colorado College

“I joined Access in 2009. My older friend, Erik Huynh, was on Team 1 and he encouraged me to join Access once he found out that I got into Preuss. The way that he talked about the sport and the program encouraged me to try out. I’m glad I did because Access has given me a number of opportunities, whether it was on the squash court, in the classroom, or elsewhere. Because of Access, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to the East Coast, meet politicians, and play in tournaments. What I love most about Access is that the staff truly cares about us — it’s not just a job to them. They genuinely care about us, our well-being, and our future. When I go to college, I will continue to keep in contact with the Access staff and my teammates. I hope to volunteer at Access when I come back home for breaks, too.”