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Youth Education Supporters say YES to MUSD Students

Members of YES stand for group photoMarana Schools relies on the generous support of community partners to help meet the needs of students and families in our community. One group, Youth Education Supporters – commonly known as YES – was formed in 2019 and has spearheaded numerous efforts that have positively impacted our students, teachers, and families in Marana – to the tune of raising more than $80,000+ in donated items and personal time! 

Comprised of eight community volunteers, YES works with MUSD’s Student Services Department to help ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed in school. Working with organizations and indviduals throughout the region, they fundraise, gather necessary school supplies and distribute a variety of resources and basic necessities to students. 

This year, YES is partnering with the Marana Police Department who has committed to support the YES initiatives in the District. YES also acknowledges the numerous local businesses, foundations and individuals who are regular donors and supporters. Currently, YES supports three primary efforts: 

Back-to-School Backpack Drive
The Back-to-School Backpack Drive is an annual event hosted at the Early Learning and Resource Center. In 2021, YES collected cash, backpacks and school supplies valued at over $30,000 to support 1,200+ students as they headed off to school. It was the most successful backpack drive to date! 

S.O.S: Success of Students
Success of Students (SOS) supports MUSD students by providing any necessary items to be successful during the school year. This can range based on individual/family needs and funds available. Prescription glasses, lodging and food, student fees, field trips, school supplies, Chromebook chargers, athletic uniforms and more are a examples of supports provided. 

Holiday Share and Adopt-a-Family
Holiday Share and Adopt-a-Family are two efforts that provide meals at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, along with clothing or gifts for children. Last year, YES raised $13,000 for holiday meals. This year, they are focusing on supporting Adopt-a-Family, matching donors with families needing assistance.   


Spanning 550 miles, the Marana Unified School District has 17 schools and approximately 12,500 students. Nearly 40% of students receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch, and more than 220 have experienced homelessness. 

“Perhaps we are helping a child who would be homeless, giving to a senior who can’t afford a yearbook or a graduation dance, providing toiletries and clothing to a home with several children, or making the holidays special for a family in need,” said Dot Santy, YES founder. “We have a strong sense of community in Marana, and our group’s goal is to involve all citizens and businesses to ensure each MUSD student has every opportunity to exceed.” 

Marana USD sends a heartfelt thanks to Youth Education Supporters for the incredible efforts that will not be forgotten by the countless families and students they have touched! 

Youth Education Supporters 2021 Team:

  • Jan Diers
  • Connie Huff
  • Loretta Jankowski
  • Pat Johnson
  • Mary Kroll
  • Carol Minnie
  • Loyce Pickett
  • Dot Santy

Support the Youth Education Supporters
YES is looking to grow their volunteers and ambassadors of their efforts! Email Dot Santy if you are interested in donating or joining their team. 

SHOWN IN PHOTO (L-R): Loyce Pickett, Christina Noriega, Pat Johnson, Loretta Jankowski, Mary Kroll, Jan Diers, Cindy Ruich, Dot Sandy, Carol Minnie.