December Newsletter

The December Meeting


Daniela Zasa 300 dpiDaniela Zasa, of YOTO, will speak at the Democratic Club of Quail Creek meeting on Saturday, December 16, 3 pm, at the Kino Conference Center, Ocotillo Rm The public is welcome to attend.

Zasa graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. “As a science teacher working at Title I schools, “I worked with youth who were experiencing economic challenges and unstable home environments. I saw the lack of stability and support impacting my students’ ability to focus and do well in school,” she said. YOTO was there to support some of her students and she saw firsthand the impact that the program can have on the success of homeless and unaccompanied youth.

This inspired her to leave her teaching career and join YOTO in 2015 as a Program Coordinator. She now is a Program Manager and works to ensure programs and processes are the best they can be for the students the organization serves on a daily basis. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at Arizona State University. “From my teaching career, I tried to inspire youth to be excited about learning and to understand the importance of education. I saw the many challenges that these students face every day and how this impacted their success in completing school,” she said. “We are hoping to give each of our students one $25 gift card (Walmart, Fry’s or Target) and a blanket this year for Christmas.”

YOTO, founded in 1986 Ann Young, is a dropout prevention program that supports the high school graduation and continued success of homeless, unaccompanied youth in Pima County. Young, a guidance counselor at Amphitheater High School, became concerned about the increasing number of homeless students. Her initial idea was to buy a home for a group of homeless teenage girls. She presented this proposal to a group at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church dedicated to assisting Tucson’s homeless community. Soon, Young had an army of volunteers and raised $80,000 in a single morning.

The money funded a group residence for homeless girls, St. Andrew’s Friendly Environment (SAFE) House, it quickly became apparent that SAFE House was not large enough to accommodate all of the students who needed services. An unexpected check from a New York City charitable foundation launched a stipend program to increase the aid to homeless teens. The SAFE House, which closed after two years, encouraged her to apply for grants: At this point, it was known as the Pima County Homeless Teen Project — a marketing specialist later dubbed it Youth on Their Own — and Young then applied for YOTO to become a full-fledged 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. YOTO won a grant from Angel Charity for $100,000 for the stipend program in 1990. Since then, over 16,000 homeless and compromised students have been empowered to stay in school and pursue opportunities for self-sufficiency.

This year we are requesting $25 gift cards from Target, Wallmart, or Frys Each student will get one for Christmas YOTO is also doing a blanket campaign again. So that each student gets a blanket for the holidays. If attending the meeting please consider bringing a gift card or a blanket, or both. Note that if you are donating blankets they are interested in 50 x70 and 50 x 70 inches. 

NEXT MEETING JANUARY 20: GUEST SPEAKER:  Andrea Witte, Medicare-For-All

Border Issues – a field trip

On Saturday, January 27th, DCQC and the Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a field trip to a ranch on the US-Mexico border. We will meet 9 AM at the Madera Club House (location tentative). Dan Mills will give us an overview – with time for a Q&A. We will leave Quail Creek between 10:30 and 11, arriving at Cocina La Ley in Nogales, AZ a little before noon for lunch. This place is tasty, quick, and very authentic, though the vegetarian options are quite limited. We will meet up with a rancher at the restaurant and caravan from there to the border near their ranch, arriving at 1:30. We will talk to local voices and see the Santa Cruz River where it is crossed by border barriers. There is also a steep hill nearby with a historic border monument and scenic views from the top. We will head back to 3pm. Does this sound good? Members should bring comfortable walking shoes (though little to no walking is required, it’s an option), sun protection, and plenty of water. WATCH FOR MORE DETAILS.

Membership Dues for 2018 are now due.

Annual  Membership dues  are  $15  per person  for the  current calendar  year or  $25  for this  year and  next year. Please make your  checks payable  to  “DCQC”  or  “Democratic  Club of  Quail  Creek”.    Enclose your  check with a completed membership form below and mail it to: Bob Barrett, 2409 E Glen Canyon RoadGreen Valley AZ 85614. You can obtain  a  membership form  by clicking here and printing  the form  OR  by picking  up a  form from  the  Democratic  Club mailbox  in the  corridor around  the corner  from the  Concierge  Desk in  the Madera  Clubhouse.  You  can  also  join  our  Club  by  coming  to  one  of  our  meetings,  in  the  Silver  Room  of  the Madera  Clubhouse  on  the  third  Saturday  of  the  month  at  3PM,  filling  out  a  membership  form  at  the  meeting and submitting your dues check