Youth On Their Own (YOTO) is both humbled and proud to be named as the 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for Tucson! We couldn’t be happier to receive this extraordinary honor! The Neighborhood Champion award comes with a $50,000 grant that will be used to support our YOTO Student Portal, as well as virtual leadership training by nonprofit sector experts on topics ranging from human capital management and financial sustainability to storytelling.

The Neighborhood Champions award is an invitation-only program for nonprofits who are poised to take their work to the next level. Since the Neighborhood Champions program’s launch, Bank of America has invested $4.2 million in 84 organizations within 42 communities! 

“As we consider many of the challenges that our community is facing – from the health crisis brought on by the coronavirus to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Champions program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” said Adriana Kong Romero, Tucson market president, Bank of America. “Youth On Their Own has 34 years of demonstrated success in helping Southern Arizona’s homeless and unaccompanied students stay in school and graduate, and this investment will help them make an even greater impact on the lives of homeless youth.”

YOTO was definitely ready to take our work to the next level earlier this year when we began the work of revamping our outdated portal and replacing it with a more robust YOTO Student Portal to better serve our students! With many students attending school virtually due to COVID-19, the new YOTO Student Portal provides a key way for students to both solicit support and learn more about relevant and useful community resources. This incredible investment by Bank of America will provide crucial support in maintaining YOTO’s Student Portal over the next year!

According to YOTO’s CEO, Elizabeth Slater, “A high school diploma is a critical step towards economic self-sufficiency, higher education, and increasing income and assets potential. In 2018, the unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma was 3.5 times greater than the general population. Our mission is critical in Southern Arizona, and this investment from Bank of America will provide the funds needed to increase the breadth and quality of Youth On Their Own’s service delivery.”

YOTO wishes to thank Bank of America for not just believing in our mission, but actively investing in our students’ futures through the Neighborhood Champions program!

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