When Janie was a teenager, her relationship with her father was strained. Years of neglect, lies, and distrust had severed their bond… but at the time, Janie had no one else to turn to. One day, after an argument spiraled out of control, she was ultimately removed from the home by the Department of Child Safety where she stayed in a group home for several years.

Today, Janie has been reunited with her grandparents who, although happy to take her in, still struggle to support her financially. She heard about YOTO through a friend at school, and the program has since helped her get back on her feet. The monthly stipend she earns for her good grades (she maintains a 3.0 GPA) help her “make ends meet.” She also regularly visits the Mini-Mall for toiletries, food, school supplies, and clothing. According to Janie, “If it wasn’t for YOTO, I would probably be separated from my grandparents, friends, and school… and I’d back in DCS custody.”

Janie is currently a senior in high school and is on track to graduate in May 2017. After graduation, she wants to attend Pima Community College before eventually joining the Navy. She has dreams of traveling the world and hopes to continue surrounding herself with positive people and relationships.