“Finding out I was pregnant was one of the hardest and scariest days I would ever experience. I was only seventeen and facing something most teenagers haven’t even thought about. When I told my parents I was pregnant, they told me to get out. I ended up living with my boyfriend and his family. I no longer had a job, money, or anyone to rely on. As a mother, I felt ashamed and hopeless not being able to provide for my baby and myself. I knew that without my high school diploma, I was doomed to poverty. I enrolled in school and sought out the help of Youth On Their Own because I knew that I must complete my education despite all odds!

YOTO has helped me in many ways. Youth On Their Own staff accepted me and my mistakes, but also encouraged me to overcome all the adversities I faced. Knowing that I have supporters behind me and people wanting me to succeed has encouraged me to the best I possibly can and still strive for more. Youth On Their Own has helped me realized that there are plenty of people I can talk to and seek out help without any fear of judgment. With the monthly stipends I have earned through my good grades, I have been able to buy necessities including: gas, food, a few baby items, and even sometimes a cheeseburger!

I am especially grateful to all the people that have shared their financial resources with Youth On Their Own. Without your support, I doubt that I would have made it through high school, let alone be selected to receive a University of Arizona scholarship. I start college this fall and am working to become a labor and delivery nurse! Thank you, Youth On Their Own, for helping me to change my life.”