Armando, like many Youth On Their Own students, learned about the hardships of life at too early an age. When he was still just a boy, Armando’s father died of a drug overdose. Then at the still young age of 14, he lost his mother to an overdose of pills. Armando’s mother’s death was particularly hard because not only did he lose a parent, he and his younger sister were also separated from their stepfather and their stepsiblings. With nowhere else to go, Armando and his little sister moved in with their eldest sister.

Despite hardships that would crush most people, Armando was able to pull himself up and make strides toward bettering his situation. Armando says, “Still and from this day on, I will mourn my mother’s death but not collapse under the sorrow. I must build on the situation and be the best that I can be at what I do.”

With the help and support of his relatives, friends and Youth On Their Own, Armando was able to pull himself out of darkness and has since become a strong, motivated young man, graduating from high school and earning a full two-year Pima Community College scholarship where he plans to study airplane mechanics. Armando says, “I feel in order to achieve what one desires most, one would need some assistance, and my assistance has been Youth On Their Own. Youth On Their Own has been a tremendous help and I am in debt for their aid and support through the people that donated to help make this life possible for me.”