Student Stories2018-01-19T16:19:44-07:00

Student Stories


“My parents, siblings and I used to visit family in Mexico all the time… but during one of those [...]


“When I was preparing for my seventeenth birthday, neither of my parents had had a job in over 7 [...]


“When I was born, my mother and father were still just babies themselves… trying to create a puzzle with [...]


“As a child, I was in and out of different homes because of how irresponsible my parents were. It [...]


“The Theory of Chaos proposes that a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas. Is it [...]


When Julian was a young child, his parents divorced and his father quickly exited the picture. His mother soon [...]


Omar grew up surrounded by alcoholics, drug users, and gang activity… even getting involved with a local gang at [...]


“I was raised in Iraq… specifically, in the Sinjar Mountain region. When I was a teenager, ISIS attacked us [...]


Growing up, Alex and his brother witnessed more than their fair share domestic violence. Their dad was an alcoholic, [...]


Mariah and her family were new to Tucson; that’s why it came as such as shock to Mariah when [...]


When Janie was a teenager, her relationship with her father was strained. Years of neglect, lies, and distrust had [...]


Jason grew up loving both of his parents, but he knew they were not good role models. His abusive [...]


Carly’s father was incarcerated and her mother was never part of her life, so she lived with her grandparents [...]


Wade was born to a teenage mother who, unable to support her child, gave up custody to his grandmother. [...]


Although she’s only 18 years old, Lula’s short life has been a roller coaster. When she was 16, her [...]


Jenna grew up in a household where it seemed like the only priority was getting high. Her parents were [...]


Teri’s parents weren’t interested in having a loving relationship with their only daughter. Instead, they chose to verbally and [...]


Jeremy and his mother have always had a rocky relationship: never getting along and fighting constantly. After his mother [...]


Marco and his 8 siblings moved in with their grandfather after their mother was thrown in jail. Although he [...]


“When I was just a baby, my father died in an airplane crash, leaving my mother to care for [...]


When her mom started dating again, Sabrina was initially pleased: she could see how happy this man made her [...]


When Javier was in 6th grade, his mother was deported under Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law. A few months [...]


After thousands upon thousands of fights with his mother, Miles had gotten used to the abuse: it was all [...]


Peyton has known nothing but struggle and hardship from the very beginning: at a young age, she was removed [...]


When Brandon was just 15 years old, he was kicked out of his home by his alcoholic father who [...]


For most of her life, Jules has known nothing but instability: when she was just 1 year old, her [...]


After Lisa was abandoned by her mother during her freshman year of high school, she spent the next few [...]


“My life wasn’t easy after my parents divorced. I knew I had to grow up fast because I didn’t [...]


Mia had a happy, stable childhood in a loving, single-parent household. Then tragedy struck: her 18-year-old brother died in [...]


When Justin was in middle school, his mother suddenly decided to stop being a parent: she no longer provided [...]


Jocelyn was raised in a chaotic and tumultuous household: her father was an alcoholic and her mother was a [...]


Emily grew up in a single-parent household. As the only daughter, she desperately sought affection and attention from her [...]


When Adriana was 2 years old, her mother passed away and her father was nowhere to be found. She [...]


“Finding out I was pregnant was one of the hardest and scariest days I would ever experience. I was [...]


“My parents were both involved in drugs and alcohol. My father would take his anger out on me – [...]


“At age 15, I was severely beaten by my step-father, a drug addict, who was put in prison. When [...]


“Youth On Their Own has greatly helped me through the stipends I have been able to earn because of [...]


Mark was a dynamic and charismatic young man who attended school on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Sells, Arizona. [...]


By age 14, Gabriel has lost both parents to drug overdoses, leaving him and his 10-year-old sister alone. The [...]


“I was lonely and got involved with a boy who I thought loved me. I ended up getting pregnant, [...]


When Nadia’s parents found out she was pregnant, they kicked her out of the house and cut off all [...]


Izzy, an only child, was blindsided when she was removed from her home by Department of Child Safety after [...]


Throughout his entire life, Diego was surrounded by negativity. He was the victim of constant verbal abuse from his [...]


When her mother told her that she was a financial burden on their family, CeCe felt she had no [...]


Audrey’s relationship with her mother had always been tumultuous, especially when it came to matters involving her mother’s boyfriend. [...]


Amber lived happily with her mother and siblings in another state when tragedy struck:  while she was at school, [...]


“I grew up with a mother whose number one priority was getting high. When I think of my mom, [...]


Morgan grew up in Phoenix and was raised by a loving and supportive mother. She was a gifted student [...]


“In 8th grade, I was taken from my mother’s care and placed into DCS custody. They told me my [...]


When Matthew applied to Youth On Their Own, his application had been marked “URGENT” by his School Liaison. Matthew [...]


Jessie witnessed her mother viciously attack her sister, nearly killing her.   A friend convinced her to reach out   for [...]


Youth On Their Own has been one of the few constants in Jamie’s life.  Even as a little girl, [...]


Raised by a mother who was addicted to crystal meth, Garrett never knew what each day would bring.  When [...]


Tommy’s mother left when Tommy was  two and never returned, leaving him in the care of his drug-addicted father. [...]

Luis & Juana

It was after their father died that Luis and Juana’s mother started drinking. At first it was only in [...]


As a small child, Blake was often left to fend for himself. On the nights when his mom was [...]


Bianca has lived in fear for most of her life. The only child of two drug addicts, chaos and [...]


Arturo grew up in poverty, living with his mother. There was constant fighting, mostly about money and whether there [...]


When it was discovered that her mother was working as a prostitute and using heroin, Antonia was removed from [...]


To have someone believe in me enough to donate their money for my future leaves me speechless every time [...]


My name is Alisa. No one would ever believe my story, so I stay silent. I go about my [...]


I’d like to share my story of going from one extreme to another. I’ll begin with the year 2012, [...]


Jake grew up in Tucson with his mom and brother, with both boys being subjected to repeated verbal and [...]


Morgan grew up in Phoenix and was raised by her mother. Her dad lived in Mexico and was unable [...]


Seventeen year old Kevin is bright and passionate about academics, despite the difficulties he’s faced throughout his life. Kevin’s [...]

Jawara & Malaika

Jawara and Malaika are Sudanese refugees, living under the care of their 22 year old sister, Asha. Their father [...]


Stephen was removed by the Department of Child Safety as a minor and resided in a group home, struggling [...]


Victoria has always felt the burning need to help others, dreaming of serving her country in the military and [...]


The young girl enters our office. Large,  dark eyes dominate her pale face. At 15  years old, Tina has [...]


Robert’s life was full of violence, fighting, alcohol and substance abuse. Robert has been beaten and kicked out of [...]


Monique comes from an abusive and neglectful home environment. As the oldest child of a neglectful mother, Monique was [...]


Armando, like many Youth On Their Own students, learned about the hardships of life at too early an age. [...]


Like many families in America these days, Leticia’s was hit hard by the failing economy. Unable to keep up [...]


As long as Tony can remember, his father has been an alcoholic, and his mother held the family together, [...]

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