Amber lived happily with her mother and siblings in another state when tragedy struck:  while she was at school, her mother suffered a heart attack and suddenly passed away. Amber was placed in the custody of her biological father who lived in Arizona and who she did not know very well. Amber felt uncomfortable around her father and it soon grew to become an unstable living environment, so she retreated to the familiarity and comfort of her stepfather. When her stepfather’s new girlfriend moved in, Amber was the victim of constant arguments and verbal abuse, repeatedly accused of being a horrible person and a bad kid. Once more, Amber packed her things and finally settled down in the home of a  friend.

Despite the trials and tribulations of the past several years, Amber is an extremely motivated student who is doing well academically. With the help of Youth On Their Own and the monthly financial stipend, she is able to feel like a contributing member of the household. In her own words, “I just want to be able to go to school and have the motivation to keep going. YOTO has given me the hope that I need.”

 Amber is currently a junior in high school and hopes to attend college after graduating.