DIAD: Youth on Their Own


12079519_10153701175887682_3227503937812604804_nIn September 2015, JL members purchased school supplies for the students of Youth on Their Own (YOTO). YOTO helps serve over 500 homeless teenagers in our community by providing school supplies, clothing, food, and personal items.

YOTO, a local nonprofit organization, is a dropout prevention program that supports the high school graduation of homeless unaccompanied youth in the Greater Tucson region who are in 6th – 12th grade (up to age 21). Students are enrolled in public schools—including charter and alternative schools—and are motivated to obtain their high school diplomas despite personal and financial hardship.

YOTO youth, through no fault of their own, lack a parent or long-term legal guardian physically involved in their lives and a stable, permanent nighttime residence. The absence of caring, adult support and a consistent home environment is 11214225_10153701170992682_6497744696814697061_nnot conducive to successful academic performance, placing this population at great risk of dropping out of high school. Statistics show that, without a high school diploma, they are likely to continue the cycle of poverty and reliance on social services, and are at increased risk for substance abuse, incarceration and mental health problems throughout adulthood.

YOTO provides students with financial assistance, basic needs and guidance as they work to obtain their high school diplomas. With community contributions and support, YOTO has helped over 15,000 students stay in school and remain focused on the goal of graduation, paving the way to become self-sufficient, productive adults within their communities.

Partnering with Youth On Their Own and purchasing school supplies for students helps create a larger impact on our community and that is exactly what the Junior League of Tucson is all about. No matter what age, Tucson community members can count on the women of Junior League to make a difference!