Izzy, an only child, was blindsided when she was removed from her home by Department of Child Safety after they learned of her mother’s meth abuse – a secret her mother had kept hidden from her. After her mother went to prison, Izzy was placed in foster care. She was the victim of repeated abuse from her foster parents until she aged out of the system at age 18. When her mother was released from prison, Izzy – at that time, broken and vulnerable – moved back in with the hopes of restoring what little remained of their fragmented relationship. Instead, her mother stole Izzy’s birth certificate, identification, and social security card, leaving her only daughter alone and defeated once again.

Today, Izzy still struggles from the emotional and verbal abuse that she has endured. Although she struggled with her grades, it was the YOTO monthly stipend that motivated her to keep moving forward. Izzy graduated in 2016 and hopes to either go to college or join the military.