Understanding the Need
More youth than ever - 2.2 million teenagers and 4.3 million young adults ages 16 to 24 - are neither in school nor working. Fewer than half of Arizona's high school students graduate on time and are ready for college. Tucson Youth Development sets forth the steps needed to ensure that young people have the academic knowledge, the technical skills and the essential "soft skills" to hold a job, deal with and overcome significant life challenges and launch a career.
The youth we help are low-income, teen parents, foster kids, juvenile ex-offenders and homeless youth. Some are from broken homes and have experienced unimaginable circumstances - domestic violence, neglect, abuse. - and face tremendous challenges to overcome on their journey to self-sufficiency.
Benefits to Youth
Vulnerable youth, in poverty for example, find it difficult to stay in school much less transition beyond the 12th grade. In fact, the average Arizona family has two children and the odds are that only one will graduate from high school. In Pima County, there are an estimated 10,000 disconnected youth between 16 and 24 years old who are disengaged and uninvolved. They do not go to school, they do not have a job and without intervention, they are lost.
Tucson Youth Development is part of the solution. TYD provides education, training and employment services to young people facing some of the toughest challenges imaginable - young people eager to overcome adversity. Young people who have not given-up on their dreams. TYD provides the resources, the plan and the push forward needed to getting there. TYD has a 95% success rate in keeping students on-track toward reaching their academic and employment goals and participants on average increase 1 to 1.5 grade levels per semester of participation in programming.
Benefits to Our Community
When young people lack connections to school, jobs and healthy support systems, the government spends more to support them. Many already have children of their own, exacerbating the intergenerational cycle of poverty in some communities. Sadly, almost half of children less than 12 years of age in Tucson are living in poverty (2010 U.S. Census Data). The National Leagues of Cities reported an overall Tucson youth disconnection rate of 14.4% – translating to approximately 10,700 youth out-of-school and out-of-work at any given time. Given these stark numbers, Tucson is at an increasing disadvantage in meeting the demands for greater technical, entry-level, employment criteria and ultimately limiting its overall growth potential.
TYD is a unique place. We embrace the value of technology and understand that the traditional education model isn't a one-size fits all. While providing youth with a caring and supportive environment through healthy relationships with adults, TYD offers technical training and workforce development programs that unlock potential by getting and keeping young people on track to success. It is our goal to help youth develop the skills, resources and knowledge necessary to ultimately become contributing members of our community.
How to Help
Our Wish List
To make a recurring monthly donation, customized gift or to make arrangements for an estate gift, contact TYD by email or by calling 520-623-5843.
Support the Holiday Sharing Project
Please consider donating your time to become a guest speaker, mentor or tutor.
Click here to download the Volunteer Application Form. Please give TYD a two-week period to respond to your volunteer application. During the year-end holiday, the turnaround time may be longer. Thank you for your patience and interest in volunteering at TYD.