There’s lots of reason for optimism about how much positive change can occur in the lives of economically disadvantaged youth.  So many nonprofits around the U.S. are enabling these youth to access opportunity.

So, don’t be dispirited by this week’s news about growing opportunity gaps between what wealthier and poorer families provide for their kids and the growing unlikelihood that lower-income kids will experience social mobility over their lifetimes.

Personal transformations can and do happen all the time – it just takes the work of innovative organizations providing consistent support, encouragement, and mentorship.

Every day in Southern Arizona Youth on Their Own makes significant inroads in changing for the better the lives of kids for whom it might seem little can be done: homeless teens.   They not only lack the warmth of a stable home but often times also experience a combination of violence, neglect, and substance abuse.  Yet, this organization is defying the odds.  It enables these kids to stay in high school, graduate, and in some cases go on to college.  Students who demonstrate a positive work ethic and receive good grades receive financial assistance, basic needs, and guidance as they work to obtain their diplomas.

There are so many stories of how Youth On Their Own has helped these kids to better their lives.  See for yourself!

Over the years, the organization has enabled over 10,000 young people to graduate from high school and go on to become productive and self-sufficient members of their communities.  This is no small thing in Arizona, which has the highest dropout rate of any state in the U.S.

Want even more reason to be excited?  Check out this news story about Youth on Their Own this past May.

There are many ways you can help out:

Donate supplies
Give money
Hold an event
Host a speaking engagement