News

News

 


“Thanksgiving in a Box”

For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the great things we are fortunate to have. We think about are family and friends. We think about our children and our brothers and sisters. Unfortunately for many YOTO students, Thanksgiving is just another day. They don’t get the chance to be with loved ones and share a great meal. This year, we wanted to give some of our students a chance to experience a nice Thanksgiving meal and so we put together over 40 boxes of food and ingredients so they can put together their own feast. …

Continue Reading

The Women of Quail Creek Spice Things Up!

If you’ve ever come to YOTO for a visit you’ve probably had a chance to see the mini-mall where our students can shop for food for free. We recently hosted some members from The Women of Quail Creek, a service group from Green Valley who were interested in getting a behind the scenes look at the mini-mall. They had a lot of questions about the type of food we keep on our shelves, most of which we’ve learned students will actually use. Typically this food is easy and fast to prepare. A few weeks after their tour they called with …

Continue Reading

Second Chances

Not enough can be said about the pivotal role persistence plays in helping YOTO’s students. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes YOTO is unable to accept students into its program if they do not meet certain criteria. One of the many jobs that our program coordinators are tasked with is reviewing student appeals for those wishing to be reconsidered for entrance into our programs. Diego is one of our hard-working staff that recently did some extra digging to see if we might be able to help a student who had been previously denied our services based on a past criminal record. YOTO’s …

Continue Reading

YOTO Receives Copper Cactus Award

After applying for several years, Youth On Their Own was chosen out of sixteen applicants to be this year’s recipient of the Tucson Electric Power Charitable Non-Profit Business Copper Cactus Award for medium-sized charities. YOTO was recognized by the selection committee for outstanding performance in helping Southern Arizona’s homeless youth remain in school and pursue opportunities for self-sufficiency. We are honored to have received this award.

Staff Spotlight: Diego Coronado (Program Coordinator)

This week, we’ll be sharing with you another one of YOTO’s newest staff members: Diego! Diego is one of four Program Coordinators who work one-on-one with the students enrolled in Youth On Their Own. Learn a little more about Diego and how his background in Public Health has expanded our program services for students. “I am originally from Nogales, Arizona – a border town next to Sonora, Mexico – but have been a Tucsonan for 11 years now. I graduated from Cholla High School in 2012 and from the University of Arizona in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public …

Continue Reading

Staff Spotlight: Monika Cabrera (Program Coordinator)

This week, we’ll be sharing with you one of YOTO’s newest staff members: Monika Cabrera! Monika is one of four Program Coordinators who work one-on-one with the students enrolled in Youth On Their Own. Learn a little more about Monika and how she came to become one of YOTO’s most passionate team members! “I graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2016 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Education and a minor in Special Education. Throughout college, I worked part-time for Jacobs YMCA in their after school program and created curriculum for their summer camp. Throughout my …

Continue Reading

AZ Daily Star—Tucson middle school students get to pick the brains of professionals

Professionals Needed to Mentor Students For professionals who want to give back but have limited time, the Leadership Institute may be the answer. For about 15 to 20 hours over the course of a school year, mentors talk life skills with seventh- and eighth-graders at Safford K-8 School, 200 E. 13th St. The mostly after-school program focuses on preparing students for high school, college, and life beyond. For eighth-grader DeBrandi Valenzuela, the Leadership Institute last year gave the her the confidence to speak up in classes and even in a school assembly. Rosie Valdez, now a freshman at Cholla High …

Continue Reading

Alumni Update – Jesus Valenzuela (Class of 2016)

This is chapter 2 of Jesus Valenzuela’s story, centered on his experiences during the second semester of his Freshmen year at the University of Arizona. Jesus is 19 years old, and is a graduate of Desert View High School in Tucson, where he was born and raised. Jesus is passionate about music, basketball, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business. Jesus says he spent much of the second semester losing weight he gained during the first semester, “One of the things that I really struggled with back in my first semester was my increased weight gain. I gained …

Continue Reading

Get to Know: Deb Salaiz, Board Member

Written by Reilly Salkowski, YOTO Volunteer With her connections and involvement in the Old Pueblo, one would automatically think Deb Salaiz is a native Tucsonan. Nope — she was born and raised in Southern California, but she happily embraced Tucson as her new home after moving here to work for General Dynamics, which later became Hughes Aircraft. Deb — who received her Bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from the University of La Verne and earned a Master’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix — now works at Raytheon, where she is senior manager of proposals excellence. Before …

Continue Reading

It Takes A Village: Youth On Their Own’s Resale Home Store

Written by Reilly Salkowski, YOTO Volunteer The YOTO Home Store was founded in October 2015 and has continued to grow ever since. All products for sale in the Home Store are donations from the community, ranging from glassware to artwork. It takes a handful of eager student interns and volunteers as well as a dedicated manager, however, to make well-loved trinkets look like new and arrange them into elegant displays around the store. Georgina Waller started volunteering with YOTO in October 2016, both at the front desk and in the Home Store until she was promoted to full-time manager this …

Continue Reading

Get to Know: Glynda Underwood, Board Member

Written by Julia Davenport, YOTO Marketing & Communications Assistant As a young child, Glynda moved around a lot… enjoying the opportunity to visit new cities/states and meet new people! She was born in a small town in East Texas where she lived with her grandparents until she was 12. Afterwards, she moved to Gary, Indiana, to live with her mother and step-father. Glynda stayed in Gary until her freshman year of high school when her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. After a few years in Nevada, her family again relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where Glynda finished her senior year …

Continue Reading

Get to Know: William Taylor, Board Member

Written by Julia Davenport, YOTO Marketing & Communications Assistant William, a local general dentist, has been practicing dentistry for 9 years. The Shreveport, Louisiana native came to Tucson to become a University of Arizona Wildcat. William, prior to college, had always gravitated to science-related courses and topics. As an undergraduate student, he explored multiple science and healthcare related options but enjoyed the artistic and esthetic challenge of dentistry and eventually solidified his path. He studied biochemistry and upon graduation, he enrolled at the University of Southern California to earn his doctorate in dental surgery. William then returned to Tucson to …

Continue Reading