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Paychex Junior Achievement Discovery Center

A proven, national program is here in Rochester - The Paychex JA Discovery Center!

Doors are Open!  Construction of the Discovery Center was completed in November 2023.  We welcomed the first cohort of students in January 2024.  By the end of the academic year in June 2024, we expect more than 4,000 students to complete this immersive learning experience.

Discovery Center students will learn life-long financial skills, explore their interests and values, and practice developing an entrepreneurial mindset, all alongside adult mentors who will share their own experiences and success.  This proven, national model allows the next generation to develop the critical knowledge and behaviors that support economic self-sufficiency, helping to alleviate the challenges of generational poverty and the lack of skilled workers in a variety of industries in our Region.   

Built to educate and designed to inspire, students will see first-hand the boundless possibilities available right here in our Region. We are most grateful for your support as we bring this authentic learning experience to fruition in January! 


In JA BizTown, 6th grade students are able to interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of starting and running a business. After in-class curriculum around the circular flow of the economy and what it means to be a citizen, students have a job within one of the many storefronts in JA BizTown, and they learn what it’s like to work that job. Students earn (and spend!) a paycheck, pay taxes, vote for their elected officials for the day, and ultimately work with their peers towards a common goal of paying back their start-up loan. Volunteers guide students through the simulation and provide their own life experiences to help students discover the endless opportunities their futures can hold.


JA Finance Park allows 7th and/or 8th grade students the opportunity to manage a household budget and learn about personal finance. After in-class lessons on subjects like budgeting and credit scores, students are assigned a random ‘life situation’ with an education level, salary, and family scenario. They visit storefronts representing the major line items in a budget – housing, utilities, food, etc. – and work towards providing for themselves and their families within their assigned means. Throughout the day they apply for car and home loans and discover the impact a credit score has on financial well-being. Volunteers guide students through the simulation and provide their own life experience to bring authenticity to the experience.

Special THANKS to all the Storefront Sponsors!

American Packaging

Architecture/Engineering Collaboration of 8 Firms

Buckingham Properties

Delta Air Lines

Ernst & Young

Five Star Bank

G.W. Lisk

Joseph & Irene Skalny Charitable Trust

LeChase Construction Services


Marks Pizzeria


Monroe Community College

MVP Healthcare



SDN Insurance

St .John Fisher University

UR Medicine/Highland Hospital


Learn more about the Paychex JA Discovery Center!  

Empire State Development Announces JA officially opens Paycex JA Discover Center for Area Students



JA BizTown

For more information about the JA BizTown program, visit the JA BizTown program page.

JA Finance Park (Entry Level)

For more information about the JA Finance Park (Entry Level) program, visit the JA Finance Park (Entry Level) program page.

JA Finance Park Advanced

For more information about the JA Finance Park Advanced program, visit the JA Finance Park Advanced program page.

Discovery Center Grand Opening!

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York, Inc..

Donate Volunteer Request A Program

Any questions? Contact us!

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