Monique comes from an abusive and neglectful home environment. As the oldest child of a neglectful mother, Monique was forced to grow up very fast in order to keep her family together.  Monique not only looked after her two younger siblings, but also did all the cooking and cleaning around the house. Sadly, things only got worse from there.

When Monique was sixteen years of age, her stepfather was released from prison and returned immediately to abusing PCP and other heavy drugs. Within a week of his release, Monique’s stepfather was at home with the kids, high on PCP, and severely beat Monique, leaving her with bad cuts and bruises. The stepfather was once again arrested, but was immediately bailed out by her mother, who despite seeing her daughter beaten, still took the side of her abusive husband.

Not long after this incident, Monique was removed from the home by child protective services and placed in a group home. Although this was a safer environment for Monique, it was also very difficult for her to be separated from her siblings and forced to live in a communal environment with people whom she did not know.

Despite all of the hardships she has had to endure, Monique has stayed focused and determined to succeed in life. On top of excelling academically, Monique is also a varsity basketball player and keeps her sights focused on her future. She plans to become a pediatric nurse in order to fulfill her dream of keeping young children healthy. Monique celebrated her high school graduation in 2011 and earned a 2-year scholarship to Pima Community College. Her success is a result of her hard work and support from donors like you through Youth On Their Own.