Stephen was removed by the Department of Child Safety as a minor and resided in a group home, struggling to receive the resources and guidance he needed. During his senior year of high school, Stephen was placed in a University of Arizona transitional program designed to teach life skills and prepare him for adulthood. Due to lack of a suitable advocate, Stephen lost his placement in the transitional program and, along with it, his housing.

Stephen found temporary housing in a shelter, but since he was 18 and could no longer live in a youth group home, he was surrounded by older men, many of whom suffered from behavioral disorders. One night, he packed his belongings into a shopping cart and walked more than 12 miles to his high school to wait for assistance.

Community agencies found him an apartment, but Stephen still needed transportation to school and his part-time job. An anxiety disorder prevented him from reliance on public transportation, so Stephen was able to receive a YOTO bike, which he uses as his primary means of transportation. He consistently maintains the good grades and regular attendance required to receive the monthly YOTO stipend, taking the edge off of his poverty and motivating him to stay in school.

Jawara & Malaika