As long as Tony can remember, his father has been an alcoholic, and his mother held the family together, until at the age of 15, Tony’s mother was arrested and went to prison. Tony’s world turned upside down. After his mother’s arrest, Tony’s father came home at night drunk, and spent all their rent money on alcohol. Tony looked after his younger sister and took care of all their day-to-day necessities, while his grades dropped and his school attendance slipped. When he did go to school, he was tired and angry. When the family was evicted, Tony and his sister moved in with their aunt.
Not long afterward, Tony joined Youth On Their Own (YOTO), and lived with a friend for about a year. He is currently part of Open Inn’s Transitional Apartment Living Program, which has provided him with a safe and stable living situation. Since entering the YOTO program, Tony began attending school regularly and successfully raised his GPA from a 1.5 to a 3.5. The support provided by Youth On Their Own enabled Tony to complete high school and he celebrated his graduation in May 2011. Tony applied for and was awarded a two-year Pima Community College Scholarship. He loves music and will be studying music, and performing in the Pima Community College Orchestra beginning Fall, 2011.