Junior Achievement Case Study

Project Overview

Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York “is a nonprofit that inspires and prepares young people for success”. Junior Achievement has over 100 locations across the nation, all dedicated to the future of young people. They provide knowledge, skills, and support to help young citizens in their local areas learn to plan for a successful economic and academic future. The image to the right is an original concept design rendered by SWBR Architects, who designed the space.

Original design rendering done by SWBR Architects

Our Involvement

Apogee has had the privilege of working with Junior Achievement since 2018 when our President, Mark Taylor, took a trip to Atlanta to see what a local Discovery Center was doing for the youth of that area and what it could do for the youth of ours. Over the 7 years since then, Apogee has worked closely with local JA employees to help make the Paychex Discovery Center come to life. We have been involved from the early stages of construction all the way through to the ribbon cutting this past February.

The Paychex Discovery Center as of June 2023

Our team has been involved in several components of the building of the Discovery Center. Our designers were able to help with the design for 13 storefronts as well as the design for many of the branding seen throughout the centers’ entrance and main “lobby”. Our project managers helped these companies build and design their storefronts alongside our workshop team who helped turn the design into reality by installing the graphics and other elements.

Custom designed wallpaper, reception and donor display case done by Apogee
An example of printed wallpaper and graphics done by Apogee for Monro
Vinyl lettering and board mounted graphics for GW Lisk

Our Custom Shop worked on bringing immersive experience to life inside storefronts as well as fabricating custom and unique design components for each of the 13 sponsors. They constructed realistic signs for the storefronts in an effort to help bring authenticity to each workplace, store, or company a student might be visiting.

“Each employer was tasked with showcasing their brand, mission, values and careers to the next generation on four walls of a 250-500 sf “warm white shell”. Their designs needed to be engaging, creative, informative, flexible and durable. Apogee truly rose to the occasion for our partners, many of whom had not visited other Centers, and had only understood the concept through the pages of a power point presentation.”

Patricia Leva-President and CEO Junior Achievement of Central Upstate NY

We were able to work with each individual store front to ensure that their specific needs would be met. Ensuring that their brand would be portrayed in a way that felt meaningful to them and for the kids that would be immersing themselves into the environment. We are grateful to have learned so much about our brands during the construction of the center. Knowing that they care about the financial and economic literacy of future generations as much as we do was the cherry on top!

Our work included:

  • 13 Storefronts
  • Over 3,000 Square foot of printed fabric
  • Over 8,000 square feet of printed wallpaper
  • 3-D Signs
  • Custom millwork
  • Custom games and fixtures


Throughout the many phases of construction, from conception to execution and beyond, we have been thrilled to be involved in such a meaningful process and look forward to continuing work on any new donor storefronts in the future. The Paychex Junior Achievement Discovery Center of Central Upstate New York has fulfilled us in ways we never imagined. We cannot thank everyone at JA enough for choosing us to assist in the creation of the Paychex Discovery Center. We hope to see many current and future generations benefit from the resources, education, and commitment Junior Achievement brings to the Greater Rochester community.

“I am so proud of our partnership and am convinced that this would not be the first-class project it is without Apogee’s involvement. Their collaborative spirit, entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, commitment to excellence and unwavering generosity, were critical components to opening the first Center of its kind in New York State.”

Patricia Leva, President and CEO Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York

You can view more of our Interior Environments work at our portfolio here. Additionally our e-book about Branded Environments may provide some useful insights into why branding your interior spaces is so important.

Full image gallery of the space