YOTO was founded in 1986 by Ann Young, a guidance counselor at Amphi High School, when she noticed that talented and motivated students were dropping out of school due to unstable living situations. In an effort to help those students graduate, Ann appealed to other school counselors, teachers, volunteers, and community members, laying the groundwork for the organization that would eventually become Youth On Their Own. Thirty-four years later, YOTO helps over 2,000 students experiencing homelessness each year!
To honor all that Ann has done for our youth, this year YOTO debuted the “Ann Young Advocate for Youth Award.” This prize will be awarded each year at our luncheon to an individual or group that has had a significant impact on the lives of YOTO youth. In its inaugural year, the award was given to none other than Ann Young herself. “It was so humbling [to receive this award]. I’m so surprised!” said Ann afterward. “I am thrilled and happy to have such wonderful people in my life and at YOTO!”
Ann, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for changing so many lives for the better! To learn more about YOTO’s history in Ann’s own words, click here.