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Volunteer Spotlight: Katie White

Katie is one of YOTO’s incredible volunteers whose friendly smile greets you at the front desk! Get to know Katie a little bit better… including her favorite childhood memory, her favorite quote, and why she enjoys volunteering at YOTO! Name: Katie White Originally From: The Bay Area (but has lived in Tucson for 21 years) What was your first job? I was a waitress at a pizzeria. Where have you worked/volunteered? Youth On Their Own is the only place I have consistently volunteered. I have worked many different jobs, but right now I am a Certified Nursing Assistant and am …

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Arizona Public Media – Beating the Odds to Graduate from High School

There are a number of reasons a student might pass through Bonnie Kneller’s office in Tucson High Magnet School. In the school year that just ended, she said, more than 75 kids found their way there because they were homeless or not living with their parents. As a social worker, Kneller serves around 3,000 of the students at Tucson High, she said, and for six years has also been the school’s liaison for Youth On Their Own (YOTO), a nonprofit located in Tucson that aims to keep such students in school. It does so by providing food, clothing, monetary stipends …

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Anthony Robbins Foundation – Grants + Community Impact Spotlight

In 2017, YOTO was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Anthony Robbins Foundation to provide a minimum of 71 stipends to homeless youth. These stipends are based on several factors such as the timely receipt of progress reports, good attendance per each school’s standards, the number of classes in which a student is enrolled, and the number of “C” or better grades earned. This monthly stipend helps take the edge off their poverty by providing a safety net for daily financial challenges while also creating accountability for school attendance and academic progress. Like the Anthony Robbins Foundation, YOTO seeks to …

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KVOA – Youth On Their Own takes in wealth of donations after break-in

Youth on Their Own (YOTO) has received four tons worth of donations since thieves stole nearly half a ton of food from an outside storage unit in April. “From something that was really disturbing, we have been overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity and caring of this community,” said Nicola Hartmann, YOTO executive director. It didn’t take long for Tucsonans to step in and help. My 92.9’s Christopher O’Gorman and Cyndi LaFrese took to the airwaves to spread the word. “We’re like, oh yeah, we have a connection with these people. We’ve got to help out,” O’Gorman said. “We don’t …

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AZPM – Border Dilemma: Parents Can’t See Triplets Graduate

U.S. born children whose parents have been deported or voluntarily returned to their country of origin face an uncertain future. Younger ones go into foster care. The older ones are often left to fend for themselves. In Tucson, some find their way to Youth on Their Own, which provides a support network. Jose Chua is graduating from high school in June. “I was born here in Tucson. Us triplets. Me and my brother and my sister.” Jose is the spokesman for the family. “It’s the three holy names – Maria, Jesus and Jose.” Mary, Jesus and Joseph. Jose said that …

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Greater Tucson Leadership: Multipurpose space serving homeless youth to be unveiled

Room renovation part of GTL community impact project Youth on Their Own, a nonprofit dropout prevention agency supporting homeless youth in their goals of staying in school, didn’t have a gathering space for students to meet and work on projects. Neither did it have a functional space to hold Board meetings or to engage donors in providing critical services for vulnerable youth. That all changes Friday. A new multipurpose room will be unveiled to the community on Friday during a celebration honoring the culminating project of Greater Tucson Leadership, a nonprofit program designed to develop future community leaders. It also …

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Tucson News Now – 1 in 5 homeless teens become victims of human trafficking

New reports are shedding light on how common trafficking is among homeless youth around the country. According to studies from The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Loyola University Modern Slavery Research Project, nearly 20 percent of homeless kids have been victims of trafficking. That number includes sex and labor trafficking. YOTO’s Program Manager Daniela Zasa said it is a problem they often see in Tucson. “It is something that they [homeless teens] don’t often tell us,” Zasa said. “They have huge stigma, already coming from homeless…this is another label they …

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YOTO Meets $50,000 Matching Funds Challenge

Less than 1 month after presenting our $50,000 matching funds challenge at our 1st annual spring lunch, you have helped us reach out goal! Thanks to the generosity of two Youth On Their Own donors, gifts in support of the spring lunch were matched dollar-for-dollar to help us reach more homeless youth next school year. With $50,000 raised and $50,000 matched (bringing our grand total to $100,000), we hope to support at least 40 more students for the 2017-2018 school year. We are humbled and blessed to be surrounded by individuals who care so deeply about our students. Thank you! …

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Arizona Gives Day Raises $2.74 Million for Nonprofits Statewide

Arizona Gives Day, the grassroots, statewide day of giving that invites Arizonans to support their favorite causes, raised $2.74 million for nonprofits on April 4, 2017. Hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, and presented by FirstBank, Arizona Gives Day has now helped raise more than $10.14 million for Arizona nonprofits since its founding in 2013. “ We saw an overwhelming outpouring of generosity from donors this year, with 84 percent electing to cover all processing fees related to their donations to their favorite nonprofits,” said Kristen Merrifield, CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “This …

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Tucson News Now: Tucson Federal Credit Union Awards Tucson Nonprofits $45,000

Three Tucson area nonprofits received $45,000 thanks to the Tucson Federal Credit Union and its Community Partnership Awards on Tuesday, April 18. According to a recent release the awards were donated to organizations whose charitable missions “transform lives of people in need and where a direct impact of the donation can be measured.” The three nonprofits are: the Erik Hite Foundation, which received the largest check for $25,000; and Youth On Their Own and Our Family Services, who each received $10,000. TFCU is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a commitment to perform 80 Acts of Kindness. President/CEO, Susan Stansberry, said …

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Youth On Their Own Debuts 2017-2020 Strategic Plan

Youth On Their Own (YOTO) recently underwent a strategic planning process conducted by Alexander | Carrillo Consulting, a local nonprofit consulting firm that specializes in fundraising, strategic planning, and organizational development. YOTO held focus groups for a variety of constituencies – from students to donors, from staff/board to volunteers – to gather feedback on the agency and its programs. We compiled all results into a singular, living document. Several months later, we are proud to unveil our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan which will guide over agency over the next several years. This plan highlights 5 main goals: Improve, clarify, and streamline …

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KGUN9: Tucson steps up to replace food for homeless teens

A heart-warming response to a hard-hearted crime. Last week, KGUN9 showed you how someone stole stockpiles of food from Youth on Their Own. Youth On Their Own uses this food to keep homeless teens going, as they push past their problems to reach graduation. Since our story aired, the organization has a new problem, but it’s a good one. “It’s been amazing. People have been walking in the door with food, donations, checks; and it’s all types of people, people who themselves don’t have much.” Click to Watch Video  Click to Make A Donation  Click to Donate Items