Arturo grew up in poverty, living with his mother. There was constant fighting, mostly about money and whether there was enough for Arturo. Arturo’s mother told him she didn’t have enough to raise a child and that he should go live with his father. Arturo’s stint living with his father didn’t last long. His father lived in a filthy one-room apartment and was out at all hours, leaving Arturo without food.

Arturo’s uncle agreed to let him stay with him under the condition that he pay $50 a month. Arturo was urgently searching for a job when he heard about Youth On Their Own from his school counselor. When he found out that he could earn money based on his grades and attendance, he was ecstatic. He still wanted a job, but knowing that he could pay the monthly rent to his uncle took the pressure off. Once that was secure, he could begin to look for work.

Arturo is graduating in the Spring and plans to study International Business and Communications in college. The stipend has made a huge difference in his life because of the stability it has provided. He now has a job and is able to balance his work time with school time. He says, “I hate to think where I would have ended up without YOTO’s help.”