“When I was born, my mother and father were still just babies themselves… trying to create a puzzle with pieces that didn’t belong. Instead of splitting up, they fought, frank, and did drugs. The partying was never-ending, and even though having my little brother in my life made me happier, it also made it harder. Having to take care of both of us wasn’t easy, considering I was only 4 years old.

Eventually, we were separated and I started to live with my grandparents. I would cry myself to sleep every night because I missed my family… but they didn’t miss me. My father would verbally abuse me any chance he got – telling me I was never going to be anything but pregnant like my mom – and my mother never even called. For years, I lived with others – cousins, tias, nanas, friends, and boyfriends houses.

Today, I am a senior at Tucson High and am living on my own with the help of Youth On Their Own. I have worked so hard to prove to others (and myself) that I can achieve anything I set my mind and heart to. I have been accepted into the University of Arizona’s College of Law and want to become a lawyer, to give back to my community and make a difference. I am so grateful for all of the people who have believed in me, and I can’t wait for the day that I am going to give back to this organization. I will tell my story and prove to others that you can do anything, no matter the situation.”

Jazmin graduated from Tucson High School in the spring of 2017 with a 3.04 GPA and will begin attending the University of Arizona in the fall of 2018. She is the recipient of a Youth On Their Own scholarship to help her continue her studies.

Note: The above text was taken directly from Jazmin’s scholarship essay.