What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

students

Preparing for a Real-World Future

June 28th, 2016

Graduating from high school can often evoke both a sense of elation and uncertainty.

We’ve made it . . . now what?

At Boys Town, we try our best to remove that uncertainty from the equation. Our kids typically go on to college or the military or into the workforce, prepared to reach their potential – whatever that may be.

For those not on the college or military tracks, entering the workforce is the primary goal. For these students, Boys Town offers a variety of career-readiness programs that are designed specifically to give them the skills they need to get and keep a good-paying job.

For a long time, the only electives available to Boys Town students were band, chorus and JROTC. Today, via our Career Center and career-readiness program, students have the option to study a variety of real-world subjects, including:

  • Sports Medicine
  • CNA
  • Media, Communications, Journalism and Photography
  • Art
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Construction
  • Intro to Trades

Not only does Boys Town offer training in these areas, we also bring in professionals from the community to speak to the students, so that they can pick the brains of those who are already working in these particular trades.

Hands-on training is part of the program, too. Depending on the course, you might see Boys Town students tearing engines apart and putting them back together, building 8’x10’ storage sheds or writing, filming and producing their senior video. After all, one can learn only so much in a classroom. And for a potential employer, real-world experience is a huge selling point for a job candidate.

Beyond simply giving these kids skills that will help give them a head start in their post-graduation job search, the career-readiness program can be a huge selling point to juvenile justice officials with regard to getting kids to stay in the Boys Town program longer. The idea being that a judge or health and human services agency official might agree to let a youth stay at Boys Town for a longer period if he or she knows that the teen will actually learn a trade and emerge ready to enter society with a marketable set of skills.

The success of this exciting program has meant that its future looks even brighter. Next year, we’re planning on adding a broadcasting component to our communications and media curriculum, in addition to a welding program. In the coming years, we’ll be seeing the addition of an auto-mechanics program, a culinary program and an “on the job training” option for students.

These programs are provided thanks to the generosity of donors all across the country, with 90 cents out of every dollar given going directly to helping at-risk youth. And if Father Flanagan were alive today, I think he’d be pretty proud of the Career Center we’ve developed. After all, his kids tended the fields of the Boys Town farm, printed its newspaper, repaired its furniture and worked many of the trades necessary to the daily operation of his “City of Little Men.”

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    This holiday season our family took their first big vacation! With a four- and six-year-old I was incredibly nervous about, not one, but two fairly lengthy plane rides, so I ...

  • January 10th, 2015

    Boys Town does a LOT. We have a vast set of services, and it’s a challenge for us to tell our story, because there is so much that we cover. ...

  • January 8th, 2015

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. After a long Christmas break, high schoolers are heading back to the classroom. Second semester is an opportunity to make resolutions and start fresh. There ...

  • January 5th, 2015

    Photo courtesty of Washington Post.  Thomas McRae Jr. had a rough start in life. By the time he was 16, he had lived in 22 different foster homes. He never understood what ...

  • January 1st, 2015

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Many people have started their list of resolutions for the new year. This year I challenge you to decide on a parenting resolution for 2015. Whether you ...

  • December 31st, 2014

    Protecting the children in our care is priority number one. For any organization that works with children, safety is best ensured when everyone, including employees, volunteers and others who are involved ...

  • December 30th, 2014

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com. With winters cold arrival and daylights quick retreat, our children are starting to shift the focus of their fun from playgrounds, ...

  • December 28th, 2014

    My heart breaks when I hear what some of the children and families we serve went through before coming to Boys Town. As a child, Edward suffered abuse for 12 years ...

  • December 24th, 2014

    Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, ...

  • December 20th, 2014

    Between the ages of 16 and 19, adolescents have achieved full physical maturity. In sharp contrast to early adolescence, when many teenagers are socially awkward and embarrassed by their bodies, ...

  • December 17th, 2014

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo from Momaha.com.  It can be a challenge to get your kids to appreciate the things they have when they are eager for Christmas to arrive ...

  • December 10th, 2014

    Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, ...

  • December 2nd, 2014

    Last year, we introduced you to Sommer, a bright young woman whose parents would leave her alone for days on end. Many of you wanted to know how she was ...

  • November 26th, 2014

    Last year Boys Town put out some tips for Holiday fun that are cheap and easy and help kids keep their focus away from the presents and commercialization of Christmas ...

  • November 10th, 2014

    I recently came across an article from the Chicago Tribune about how the government is removing severely obese children from their homes. These removals aren’t happening because these children are being ...

  • October 29th, 2014

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. It can be hard to admit that your child is bullying others. But when you recognize this type of behavior in your child, it’s important to ...

  • October 22nd, 2014

    This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Kids don’t always share what is going on in their life. When they do talk, you want to help find solutions. Unfortunately when it comes ...

  • October 15th, 2014

    Last Monday, I dropped off my almost 2-year-old at the child care center of my gym for the first time. I was afraid she would cry, throw a fit, or ...

  • October 7th, 2014

    Bullying is every parent’s worst nightmare. As parents, it is natural for us to want to protect our babies from the outside world. You don’t want their feelings to get ...

  • October 7th, 2014

    Photo from Landfill Harmonic YouTube. I saw a video the other day that reminded me just how beautiful the human spirit is. The video, Landfill Harmonic, is about people who live in ...

  • September 25th, 2014

    As the host of several popular home improvement reality shows, Josh Temple is a familiar face on television these days. But did you know that in addition to his day ...

  • September 21st, 2014

    “He ain’t heavy, Father… he’s m’ brother.” That iconic phrase has symbolized the spirit of Boys Town for decades. But many people don’t know how it originated. Back in 1918, a boy ...

  • September 19th, 2014

    Spanking as a form of discipline continues to be a hot topic of debate, both among parents and in the public forum. Is it right? Is it wrong? Does it ...

  • September 13th, 2014

    I love working at Boys Town. Every time I think I can’t be more in awe of the services provided by Boys Town and the impact upon the children and families ...

  • September 11th, 2014

    When I was 9 years old, my father took me to sign-up for Little League baseball. A few days after sign-ups, I received a call from the coach who told ...

  • September 4th, 2014

    The school year (or, as many parents know it, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”) is here. For high school kids, that means Homecoming is just around the corner. ...

  • August 30th, 2014

    Father Edward Flanagan inspires me every day. The founder of Boys Town may have passed away more than 60 years ago, but his dedication to children and his leadership in changing ...

  • August 18th, 2014

    Many parents do the “back-to-school” cheer once the summer is over, their youngsters are on their way back to the classroom and family life is back on schedule. But for parents ...

  • August 13th, 2014

    Dinnertime is one of my favorite times at home. I grew up in a house where we always had dinner as a family and that tradition has carried in to ...

  • July 30th, 2014

    I admit I am slightly addicted to Facebook. I find myself in any 30-second break (at a red light, waiting in line at the grocery store, during TV commercials) I ...

  • July 16th, 2014

    A woman stopped by my office earlier this week. She had just come from another meeting with the school principal about her child and her shoulders sagged under the burden ...

  • July 9th, 2014

    I struggle with behavior and discipline with my children, as I’m sure most parents do. I read a lot about correcting misbehavior and the best ways to deal with discipline ...

  • July 2nd, 2014

    Recently I told my oldest child to do something and they respond with, “or what?” Eek! That is a bad thing to hear as a parent. That is when I ...

  • June 11th, 2014

    As a parent, we play so many different roles in the home that getting our kids to listen and follow instructions might not always take the forefront in our list ...

  • June 4th, 2014

    Boys Town parenting puts a great deal of focus on positive consequences vs. negative consequences. The idea is if you catch them being good and recognize this, you will head ...

  • January 25th, 2012

    As fans prepare for Super Bowl XLVI, I’m sure there are more than a few who are sad that Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos didn’t make it to the ...