Youth On Their Own has an incredibly passionate Board of Directors who work tirelessly to ensure that our students are provided with as many resources as possible to better their futures.
Kris Cohen has been heavily involved with Youth On Their Own for eight years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016. Kris is extremely passionate about education and knows that she would not be where she is today without the support and encouragement of her family. Her own father was unable to finish high school, and as a result, Kris witnessed how difficult it can be to overcome obstacles without the help of a high school diploma. After graduating from Lone Mountain College, formerly known as the San Francisco College for Women, Kris spent her professional career working in retail. She quickly moved her way up the ranks and ultimately worked in buying and planning corporate positions, as well as regional and store planning for companies such as Macy’s and TJ Maxx. Kris has also served on the Board of Directors for the Sun City Vistoso Community Foundation as well as the Oro Valley Community Foundation. She regularly volunteers at YOTO fundraisers and will even be one of the title sponsors at the upcoming Spring Lunch on March 30. In 2015, Kris further expanded Youth On Their Own’s fundraising opportunities by founding the YOTO/Northwest Auxiliary in Sun City.
Kris recognizes that although youth homelessness is a large problem within our community, it is often not visible. A majority of the students that YOTO serves do not live on the streets, which can often mask the severity of the problem. Kris hopes to continue spreading awareness of these student stories so that people who may not know the extent of youth homelessness in Tucson can be motivated to take action. When asked why Youth On Their Own is so important for our community, Kris responded, “These are good kids. They have been dealt a tough hand, they are motivated to succeed, and they deserve to graduate just as much as any other child”. She also explained that alleviating youth homelessness is getting to the source of the problem: it’s tackling the issue of poverty at the very beginning. Affording these children the opportunity to receive an education will set them up for success and allow them to be contributing members of society in the future.
We at YOTO are extremely fortunate to have board members like Kris Cohen who believe so thoroughly in our students’ potential, and we could not be more excited to see how the agency will continue to grow with their support.