This spring, Adrian became one of YOTO’s 327 graduating seniors. He now plans to join the Navy and study law.

Organization: Youth on Their Own.

Address: 1660 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, 85712.

Phone: 520-293-1136.

Website: yoto.org

At 17, Adrian left his abuse-filled home. Emotional scars and uncertainty took a toll on him; for a time, he dropped out of school. He knew, however, that he would need to graduate to succeed, so he made a plan to return.

Yet when Adrian started school again, he found it difficult to both succeed in school and support himself.

Luckily, a counselor at Adrian’s school helped him enroll in Youth On Their Own (YOTO), a local nonprofit that helps homeless Pima County youth graduate from high school. By keeping up his grades and maintaining a good attendance record, Adrian was now eligible to receive a monthly stipend, free basic goods such as food and hygiene products, and the support of YOTO’s staff.

By providing homeless youth with financial assistance, meeting basic human needs and offering guidance, Youth On Their Own strives to see more homeless youth graduate from high school. In fact, more and more youth are accessing YOTO’s services.

Last year, YOTO served 1,741 students across Pima County, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.

Despite all the challenges these young people face, the graduation rate for YOTO seniors is 84 percent — higher than the average rate in Arizona.

According to Adrian, receiving financial support was extremely helpful, but having someone in his corner made the biggest difference. Knowing that so many individuals in the community support you and want to see you succeed is an incredibly motivating force for students like Adrian, who now had the focus, determination and confidence he needed keep going.

The support provided by the local community not only inspires students like Adrian; it makes YOTO’s work possible. YOTO receives no federal funding, and the vast majority of the organization’s funding comes from individual members of the community. In particular, the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit has a huge impact on YOTO, last year accounting for nearly 20 percent of the organization’s donations and supporting over 300 local homeless youth.

This spring, Adrian became one of YOTO’s 327 graduating seniors. He now plans to join the Navy and study law.

By donating your $400 Arizona Charitable Tax Credit to YOTO, you can provide three months of financial assistance to a student like Adrian. Most importantly, every gift shows local youth that their community believes in them, invests in them, and wants to see them succeed.