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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Get to Know: Bob Villamana, Board Member

Written by Julia Davenport, YOTO Marketing & Communications Assistant Bob grew up in suburban New York in the town of Eastchester. The middle child, Bob has been lucky to stay close with his siblings, especially his younger sister. After growing up in New York, Bob attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and served on the school’s Student Council with Bill Clinton! Upon graduation, Bob moved to Tucson to attend law school at the U of A and fell in love with the desert and stayed. After law school, Bob worked for his law firm for 43 years practicing real estate …

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Washington Federal helps homeless youth with education

Washington Federal branches across Pima County have partnered with local nonprofit Youth On Their Own and its annual “Back to School Challenge.” Now through October 1, please visit any of the below Washington Federal locations and make a donation to the cause: 1833 S. 6th Ave. in Tucson 4788 E. Sunrise Drive in Tucson 5520 E. Grant Road in Tucson 1315 W. Prince Road in Tucson 8001 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley Donations needed include: Adult-sized backpacks Highlighters Colored pencils Markers Scientific/graphing calculators Index cards Mechanical pencil Flash drives Folders Composition notebooks $10 or $25 gift cards to grocery …

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Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Nanos

This week, we’ll be sharing with you one of YOTO’s newest volunteers: Chris Nanos! Get to know a little more about the retired Pima County Sheriff and why he feels passionately about giving back to his community. Name: Chris Nanos Where are you from originally? I’m originally from El Paso, Texas, but I’ve lived in the Tucson area for the past 34 years. What was your first job? I joined the El Paso Police Department in 1976… other than mowing lawns and helping my brother with his newspaper route, that was my very first job. Where have you worked/volunteered? I …

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AZ Daily Star – Back to School Events will provide backpacks, supplies to kids

As July winds down, a bevy of back-to-school events offer multiple opportunities for public involvement while providing everything from free backpacks and school supplies to car seats and social services to children in need. Slated first on the calendar is the Youth On Their Own’s Back To School Challenge, which continues through Oct. 1 and seeks to provide backpacks and school supplies for 1,600 homeless and near-homeless middle school and high school students. “I am just continually shocked by the numbers of kids that we see. They have so many challenges … and we have to try to help them …

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Volunteer Spotlight: Izzy Plecity

This week, we’ll be sharing a light-hearted volunteer spotlight on our favorite furry friend: Izzy Plecity! You may have had the opportunity to meet Izzy (who actually belongs to one of our staff members) on Fridays when she happily greets all visitors at the front door. Get to know a little more about Izzy and why she loves being at YOTO! First Name: Izzy Where are you from originally? I’m from the Pima Animal Shelter, but I’ve lived in the Tucson area for 8 (human) years. What was your first job? My first job was rounding up small children and …

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YOTO Selected as Finalist for Tucson Metro Chamber’s Copper Cactus Awards

More than four dozen businesses and four business leaders in Southern Arizona have been selected as finalists for the Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards. The awards celebrate the accomplishments and innovation of Southern Arizona’s small businesses in categories such as work environment, workforce development, community stewardship, innovation, growth and leadership. The finalists for the Tucson Electric Power Charitable Non-Profit Business are: Arizona Greyhound Rescue Dancing In The Streets Earn To Learn Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation Golden Goose Thrift Shop Humane Society of Southern Arizona International Rescue Committee Literacy Connects Marshall Foundation Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona SAAVI …

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A Complete History of Youth On Their Own

Written by Ann Young, Youth On Their Own Founder Edited by Reilly Salkowski, YOTO Volunteer “As a school counselor at Amphitheater High School in 1986, I became aware of the growing number of our students who were living from couch to couch and friend to friend. Without a stable home to live in, they were struggling to stay in school. Many teachers and I were quite concerned about these young people and discussed ways to help them stay in school until graduation, and came up with one idea to have a designated house where all of the homeless female students …

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