When Justin was in middle school, his mother suddenly decided to stop being a parent: she no longer provided him with clothing, wouldn’t give him a ride to school, and verbally abused him on a daily basis. According to Justin, “I felt like I was no longer her priority and that I wasn’t important enough for her to love.” Eventually, his mother kicked him out of the home and gave up her parental rights.

Justin, a freshman in high school, is now in the care of the Department of Child Safety. He lives in a group home with other kids his age and has big dreams for his future. He is determined to graduate from high school and find a good job in Tucson so he can become a productive member of society. According to his teachers and guidance counselors, he is the most eloquent and well-spoken freshman they have met in a long time. He exudes kindness and is always willing to lend a hand to those in need.

Through Youth On Their Own, Justin is able to earn a monthly stipend which relieves the stress of his financial problems. “With YOTO’s help, I know that I am on track to get my diploma,” he says.