Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez, a junior studying philosophy, politics and economics, is studying abroad thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship.
In the 2013-14 school year, she was one of more than 1,000 homeless students served by Youth On Their Own (YOTO), an empowerment agency that aims to keep Pima County youth from dropping out of school. YOTO offers accountability-based financial assistance and support services to at-risk and homeless youth so they can focus on studies.
Camarillo Gutierrez joined the program after both of her parents had their visas denied and had to return to Mexico. She spent a year and a half living with a host family and two of her high school years living with a relative and experienced financial struggles. Even so, she earned excellent grades and was able to earn a small monthly stipend from YOTO.
After graduating from Flowing Wells High School in 2014, she continued studying at the University of Pennsylvania. She is now studying in the United Kingdom and serving as a global correspondent for the U.S. State Department Scholarship Program.