When Adriana was 2 years old, her mother passed away and her father was nowhere to be found. She was placed in foster care and spent the first 10 years of her life there, the victim of constant abuse and neglect. Eventually, she was removed from the home by the Department of Child Safety and placed with a new foster family. Though this was done for her own protection, it was a difficult transition for Adriana: this was the only family she had ever known and for many years, she held on to a lot of anger and resentment.

 Adriana learned about YOTO through her school’s guidance counselor, who helped her enroll in the program. She relies on the stipend check every month – earned through her good grades and steady school attendance – to help contribute to the household, and she also receives hygiene items and school supplies through YOTO’s Mini-Mall. Adriana, who wants to go to college to study neurology, was also helped by a YOTO board member: he connected her to a local neurologist who now serves as her personal mentor!

 Adriana is currently a senior at her high school where she also competes on the wrestling team. She works part-time and has a 3.5 GPA, putting her on track to graduate at the end of this school year.