Jake grew up in Tucson with his mom and brother, with both boys being subjected to repeated verbal and emotional abuse. After several domestic violence reports were filed, the boys were removed by CPS and have spent close to 10 years in group homes, away from family members.

Jake has struggled academically and is below grade level in most subjects. One thing, however, that has always been constant in Jake’s unstable life is sports. He plays football for his high school and he really enjoys the camaraderie and sense of family that comes along with being part of a sports team. In addition to football, Jake discovered a new sport that he is passionate about and Youth On Their Own was able to help him purchase some equipment to keep him safe. The look on his face when he received the equipment was one of pure joy and gratitude. He said that because of this sport and the support he receives from YOTO, he is able to sleep better at night and his grades have improved.

Jake is now receiving support and assistance through the CPS Independent Living program, taking positive steps toward becoming a responsible adult, and is well on his way to graduating from high school.