“I grew up with a mother whose number one priority was getting high. When I think of my mom, it is with a glass tube held up to her mouth. When I was 10 years old, my grandparents encouraged my mom to sign over guardianship to them. The day my grandparents came to get me was the last time I saw my mom. My dad was never in my life. My grandpa was working but my grandma was sick. Pretty soon we found out she had Multiple Sclerosis. I dropped out of school to take care of her.”

“My junior year, my grandma passed away and my grandpa decided to travel the U.S. in an R.V. So, I went out in search of my dad. This turned out to be a huge disappointment. I stayed mostly with friends during this time. All of the family I had was gone.”

“I don’t know where I would have been without YOTO. They helped me put food on my table and supported me when I was ready to give up. I plan to attend Pima and then transfer to a four-year university to obtain my nursing degree. I recently enlisted in the Army Reserves; I will be participating in Cadet Training through ROTC during college. Thank you YOTO and all the people who support the YOTO organization. I can’t even picture what my life would be like without you.”