Robert’s life was full of violence, fighting, alcohol and substance abuse. Robert has been beaten and kicked out of his home; put out on the streets without food or shelter. When Robert applied to Youth On Their Own, he was sleeping in the park at night. He still does not have a permanent home; moving from friend to friend and at times returning to the streets. He shared, “Often just staying safe and having my next meal was my main concern.” This remarkable young man never gave up. He comments, “I was out on the streets for a while and couch hopping to stay alive. Even with this in my life, I still came to school every day and I came on time.”

Robert’s dream is to have a career in architecture and to build eco-friendly commercial structures. He plans to attend Pima Community College for his associate’s degree, and then go to the University of Arizona to complete his bachelor’s degree in architecture.

“Youth On Their Own has helped me not only financially, but with housing and self-esteem. It helped me feel that there was a future and it could be better than my past; that I could be someone that my culture could be proud of and make a positive impact on their future. Before Youth On Their Own, I was receiving C’s or D’s on my report card…now I achieve A’s or B’s. I find that I work harder and feel better about myself… I have developed a relationship with my teachers and I have the satisfaction of being a winner!”