Creating the foundation for community leadership means supporting residents
from learning their ABCs to completing their college degrees.
We support a place-based approach to education, linking schools and community organizations to increase student achievement, create alternative learning environments, and build future community stewards.


In 2014, the Jacobs Center worked with UC San Diego Extension to develop a summer youth program for students who live or go to high school in Southeastern San Diego. Built on the national STE[+A]M education model that combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math, this program offers hands-on activities and weaves in leadership-development skills so that students see themselves as positive changemakers in the community.

For two years, we were proud to incubate this pilot program. In keeping with our mission to bring together sustainable partnerships, in 2016, Full STE[+a]M Ahead transitions to the Elementary Institute of Science in partnership UC San Diego Extension instructors and Ed Abeyta, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Director, Pre-Collegiate and Career Preparations Programs.

Diamond Education Excellence Partnership (DEEP)

The Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP) is a collaborative of community leaders and organizations committed to improving educational outcomes for children living in the Diamond Neighborhoods led by its Director Gina Gianzero. DEEP’s vision is for children attending schools in the Diamond Neighborhoods to receive the support required to transition smoothly through the early stages of the education pipeline. This includes focusing on early literacy and social-emotional development so students enter kindergarten prepared to learn and complete third-grade reading proficiently.

The Jacobs Center serves as the backbone for DEEP providing administrative and marketing support for its annual summer and fall reading programs that engage rising second and third graders in order to reduce summer reading loss and improve their reading competency.

Summer Readers-Future Leaders


Writerz Blok, an urban arts and social enterprise program, is located on one of the country’s first graffiti art parks and offers in-school and after-school programs that he fill the arts education gap and provide a unique curriculum that includes: graffiti art, DJ/mixing, design and screen printing, and spoken word. Through elevated programs and a social enterprise model, Writerz Blok provides students a bridge to creative career pathways through applied learning projects, experiential training, paid apprenticeships, and entrepreneurial opportunities.