Junior Achievement of Arizona Hires Paloma L. Santiago New District Director

Tucson-founded nonprofit Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) is pleased to announce Paloma L. Santiago as the new District Director for Southern Arizona, succeeding the recently retired Charles Zaepfel. Santiago will work with her team to increase funding and program reach for Southern Arizona students including the expansion of the new JA Inspire program that focuses on career readiness for middle and high school students.

She brings 24 years of professional experience in the nonprofit, business and media sectors to JA, including overseeing strategic planning, corporate relations, relationship building, fundraising, marketing, public relations, and finally special events. Paloma is well connected in the Tucson-area with strong relationships to individuals, corporations and communities. 

Most recently, Paloma was Vice President of Advancement at San Miguel High School where she led her team in tripling development revenue in a five-year period bringing much needed resources to students and faculty. Paloma circles back to Junior Achievement of Arizona after serving as Development Manager from 2010- 2013. 

“K-12 education and financial literacy have been so important to me, and both have been my platform for many years,” says Santiago. “JA combines the two and makes it fun learning these much-needed skills. I truly enjoy watching students engage in lessons, while giving the local and business community an opportunity to connect with and impact our future generation.”

A big believer in giving back, Paloma serves on the board for Social Venture Partners, is a member of the Foothills Club of Tucson, and a participant of the Greater Tucson Leadership Class of 2023 and serves on the organization’s social committee. She, herself, has volunteered with JA for the last 10 years.

Paloma received the 2018 award as Women of Impact through Impact of Southern Arizona and was a finalist as a Woman of Influence. In 2016, she competed in Social Venture Partners’, Fast Pitch, winning the Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards along with cash prizes for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. Honored with the Community Champion Award through the National Women Business Owners Association, she also became a 40 under 40 recipient through the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

About Junior Achievement of Arizona

Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that equips Arizona students to succeed in work and life by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices. Since 1957, JA has taught kids, kindergarten through high school, about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization’s hands-on, age-appropriate programs are delivered by more than 8,000 corporate and community volunteers. Despite educational obstacles during the pandemic, JA reached approximately 110,000 students in Arizona during the 2021-2022 school year. Follow @JAArizona on social media or visit jaaz.org/resources for more free online educational tools.

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