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.

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Standing on the Shoulders of Genius

The following is from a “State of Child Care” presentation by Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town, at a recent celebration of Boys Town’s 100-year anniversary. They illustrate Boys Town’s ongoing efforts to adapt our mission to meet the ever-changing needs of America’s children and families as we begin our second century of service.  Boys Town’s founder, Father Edward Flanagan, was a genius. I believe at the heart of that genius was his openness to explore ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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America’s No. 1 War Dad

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, three former Boys Town residents died along with the more than 2,000 other victims of the attack. Over the ensuing war years, Father Flanagan received letters from many of the thousand former Boys Town citizens fighting in Europe and the Pacific. In fact, so many former Boys Town boys named Father Flanagan as their next of kin that the American War Dads Association named him as America’s No. 1 War Dad. ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town Centennial Celebration Featured on NBC Nightly News

Video courtesy of NBC Nightly News. Recently, NBC Nightly News sent correspondent Anne Thompson to Omaha to check in on Boys Town as it celebrates its centennial birthday. Check out the video below and share it with your friends.

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Bus That Travels without Moving

This 1952 Flxible Visicoach transports its passengers back to an era when integrated schools such as Boys Town experienced many difficulties when taking their athletic teams on the road to compete. Now housed permanently in the Boys Town Hall of History, this old bus serves as an important reminder of Father Flanagan’s progressive views on equality and fairness. Watch the video below to take a trip back in time.

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Boys Town Contributor

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A Road Much Traveled

There’s not much left of Birch Drive today — just a few jagged pieces of crumbling concrete. But in its heyday, this tree-lined street was the path to a second chance for homeless young men and boys coming from as far away as Florida and Washington. Watch the video below to learn more about their historic journey.

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town and One of its Oldest Alums Will Turn 100 Together

It’s a happy coincidence that Boys Town alum Joe Renteria will be celebrating his 100th birthday this summer at Boys Town, right in the middle of the Home’s Centennial celebration. Renteria will return to the Village where he grew up for the Boys Town Alumni Association’s Biennial Reunion, slated for July 11-16. His birthday is on July 17, and will be observed during the reunion festivities. Nearing his own impressive milestone, Renteria serves as a link to Boys Town’s past and a ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town President and National Executive Director

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Sowing the Seeds of Community Pride

Many boys and girls who come to Boys Town for care and treatment have lost something very important in their lives: a sense of belonging. The problems they’ve experienced have made them feel like they’re no longer part of a family or a community, like they’ve been set adrift and no longer fit in. In our Family Home Program, Boys Town seeks to give children a sense of belonging by helping them heal in body, mind and spirit. Every boy and ...

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Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

 

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Graduations Are Grand, But Remember to Celebrate What They Really Mean

“Keep your eyes on the prize.” It’s a saying that’s been popularized in a number of ways throughout history. There’s a reference to it in the Bible (Phillipians 3:14). It’s been a rallying cry for the Civil Rights movement. An abbreviated version (“Eyes on the Prize”) even serves as the title of a Bruce Springsteen song. Closer to home, and very appropriate for this time of year, it’s also a great message for high school and college graduates, and their families. In this sense, it means ...

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Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

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Every Child Is a Star Waiting to Shine

During a recent walk across our beautiful campus in the Village of Boys Town, Nebraska, I happened upon a five-point star decal laying on the ground. The star, an emblem of our sports teams, the Boys Town Cowboys, must have been attached to an athletic jersey or a piece of sports equipment. From the looks of it, the star had been on the ground for some time; it was dirty, worn and ragged. I picked up the star with the intention of ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Monthly Career Days Prepare Teens for Life After Boys Town

Planning for the future may seem like a far-off task for most teens. Boys Town recognizes the pivotal turning point from adolescence to adulthood and provides the necessary education for youth to succeed in life. As part of an ongoing effort, James Hill, BTNY’s development director, recently worked with the Young Leader Council's volunteer committee to set up a monthly career day for youth. Since starting the project, Hill has hosted a career day every month, including an assortment of guest ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Three Children, Two Families, One Bond

When two couples — Candida Tavarez and Carlos Aquino, and Chelsea Guevremont and Mario Rosario Jr. — decided to become Boys Town New England foster parents several years ago, they had no way of knowing that three siblings would one day bring them together as families and friends. The story of how the siblings — twins Bryan and Aryanne, and their younger sister Shayna —began when both couples were contacted by Boys Town New England's Foster Family Services® program about accepting ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Teaching Tolerance, Acceptance and Respect for the Next Generation

2016 was a year when a number of tragic, attention-getting events further illuminated the great need for tolerance, acceptance, awareness, respect and social justice in our country. Month after month, the stories seemed to be endless: A police officer shoots an unarmed African American person while making an arrest or responding to a call. Protesters take to the streets to condemn the officer’s actions and demand justice for the victim. A police officer is shot during a “routine” traffic stop. Citizens express their ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Keeping Boys Town Youth Engaged and Involved

At-risk youth come to Boys Town from all over the country. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: a difficult upbringing that presents unique challenges not faced by other children their age. Keeping these youth focused and on a path to future success means keeping them engaged inside and outside school. Luckily for them, Boys Town offers a wide variety of ways for them to get involved beyond the classroom. One of those activities is athletics. It’s About ...

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U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Sieben, Boys Town Graduate

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Reflections of a Successful Boys Town Alum

U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Sieben, a 2011 Boys Town graduate, recently reflected on how Boys Town changed his life. Sgt. Sieben (second from right) is currently stationed in Germany after serving nine months in Afghanistan. I was a terrible kid before I came to Boys Town. I was kicked out of high school my junior year because I was abusing drugs and alcohol. I was always angry and felt mad at the world, frustrated that no one seemed to understand or ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Star NFL Cornerback Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman Visits Boys Town

Charles Tillman’s day job is all about taking — primarily footballs intended for opposing receivers. But when he’s not harassing NFL offenses, Charles focuses on giving back to the community. In 2008, Charles’ daughter was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that usually leads to heart failure and death. Fortunately, his daughter was the recipient of a heart transplant, and today she is a vibrant, active young girl with a bright future. As a result of this experience, Charles and his wife Jackie ...

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Superintendent

Dr. Reznicek, Boys Town High School

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Preparing for a Real-World Future

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 ...

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Christina Kreikemeier, Boys Town Alum and Mentoring Instructional Facilitator

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I Found a Home at Boys Town

My life has always been a little tumultuous. When I was just a few days old, my father tried to sell me on the black market for money. Sometimes my grandmother would say it would’ve been better if she had let him because I would’ve had a better life. I always disagreed with her. You see, if my grandmother hadn’t intervened, I never would have had the opportunity to come to Boys Town, Nebraska. Yes, I came to Boys Town because of ...

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Paul Blomenkamp, Boys Town High School Associate Principal and Athletic Director

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Boys Town, Allstate Team Up Again to Compete with Character

Most of the boys and girls who come to Boys Town have known only failure. Many have done poorly in school, struggling to keep up academically or facing suspensions or expulsion. Few have played sports, so they’ve never had anyone cheer for them or experienced the thrill of victory. At Boys Town, these kids get their first real opportunity to learn social skills, succeed in the classroom, and participate in athletics as part of a team. In everything they do as ...

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Dan Daly, Executive Vice President, Director of Youth Care, Boys Town

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Candidates Miss Opportunity to Address At-Risk Children

The article was previously published on Roll Call. Presidential candidates are quick to complain that an extended campaign means giving the same rote answers to the same rote questions, the same stump speech to the same political reporters.   But if the candidates take advantage of this time, the campaign is actually an opportunity to have a discussion about a national crisis that, to date, has gone under the radar: how our next leader plans to care for the hundreds of thousands ...

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Boys Town Contributor & Gavin, 2016 Boys Town Graduate

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2016 Graduates Reflect on Time Spent at Boys Town

This past weekend, 86 boys and girls walked across the stage to receive their diploma from Boys Town High School. These kids come to Boys Town, Nebraska from all over the country. Some come from toxic home environments, others have gotten into trouble with the law. But what brought them to Boys Town doesn’t matter once they get here. What matters is that they work hard for a chance at a bright future. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments. Below ...

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Sonya Brown, Boys Town Louisiana Alum and Staff Member

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Sharing My Story of Change

I recently had the privilege of participating in a hearing with three Louisiana state senators to address the needs of young women who are involved in the juvenile justice system. In one-on-one meetings, we discussed juvenile justice in the foster care system, specifically how foster care youth are often arrested for status offenses like running away from foster home placements. I am personally aware of what these youth experience. You see, I was one of those runaways just a few short ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher 

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Character Revealed and Rewarded: Boys Town’s Shaquil Barrett Set for Super Bowl 50

On February 7, one of Boys Town’s very own will be competing in Super Bowl 50.  Shaquil Barrett, a 2010 graduate, will be on the field as an outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos. As Boys Town’s head football coach, I had the pleasure of coaching Shaquil during our 2008 and 2009 seasons.  Shaquil’s success in the NFL should be looked upon by youth across this country as an example of how one can be rewarded for “doing what is right.” At ...

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Pat Heys, Boys Town Mentor

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Mentor Finds ‘Pretty Special’ Moments While Helping Local Children Grow

This article was originally published by the Omaha World Herald on January 28th, 2016. I have always enjoyed working with kids. The story of how I started mentoring at Boys Town actually began at Dowd Chapel on the Boys Town campus. I frequently attend Mass there, so I was aware of Father Flanagan’s story, his rich legacy and the mission of Boys Town. When I retired, I hoped I could volunteer and be a small part of that mission. I stopped Father ...

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Sloane Baxter, Former Boys Town Youth

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Sharing My Boys Town Experience with Congress

I was recently invited to Washington, D.C., to share my personal story with Congress. I wanted to share it because it’s important for lawmakers to hear from those who are most affected by their actions. My hope is that my story will help create effective policies that divert youth from involvement in the juvenile justice system, support alternatives to incarceration, save taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, promote safer, stronger and healthier youth, families and communities. I was in trouble with the ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Valero’s Continued Support Helps Boys Town Programs Grow

The Valero Foundation recently awarded a combined total of $100,000 to Boys Town Louisiana and Boys Town Texas from proceeds received through the 2015 Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children. Every donated dollar makes all the difference in the world to the life a child who is struggling. That’s why we are so thankful to the Valero Foundation for its continued support of our programs across the country. Boys Town Louisiana received $40,000 to help more children through the site’s Care ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Giving Your Children the Gift of the Holidays

The last six weeks of the year are a magical time, here at Boys Town and across our great nation, as families prepare to celebrate that final stretch of holidays, from Thanksgiving, to Hanukkah, to Christmas, to New Year’s Day. Holidays are special, not only because they commemorate important events or times of the year, but also because they are a way for us to mark time, both chronologically and spiritually, and observe traditions and rituals that give flavor and meaning ...

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Lisa Hukill, Development Associate Vice President

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Giving Tuesday Is Your Chance to Make a Difference

When Black Friday comes around, people come out in hoards to purchase gifts for the holidays. Others wait until CyberMonday to snag that deal. But what about Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday, also known as December 1st this year, is a day dedicated to giving ‐‐ when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together. Boys Town encourages you to make your donation in celebration of this day! When you choose Boys Town on Giving Tuesday, you are ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Donor Stories: Jack McGraw Moves Boys Town’s Mission Forward

As a Leader and Advocate, Jack McGraw Moves Boys Town’s Mission Forward Jack McGraw was wearing a football uniform and playing for Omaha (NE) Creighton Prep High School when he had his first close encounter with the young men of Boys Town in 1947. He could not have known then that while he played against Boys Town’s football team that day, he would someday be part of Boys Town’s child and family care team as one of its most dedicated supporters. A Steady ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Donor Stories: Harriet Karol’s Playground

We would like to spend a few moments to shine a spotlight on one of our awesome donors. Because it’s the deep, heartfelt generosity of donors just like them—and like you—that have helped Boys Town achieve Father Flanagan’s vision of saving children and healing families. In this post we’re featuring a longtime donor, California mother and grandmother Harriet Karol. Situated just outside the new Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, there is a special playground where troubled young children can play and romp ...

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By Dan Daly, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director of Youth Care at Boys Town

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Ensuring Quality Residential Care for Kids Is Our Top Priority

Throughout Boys Town’s history, one of our most important guiding principles has been to always do what is in the best interests of children or families so they have the greatest opportunity to find healing and success. This is why we developed our Integrated Continuum of Care®. The Continuum includes in-home and community-based programs that allow more children to get the help they need while remaining with their families (whenever possible) or during short-term stays in foster care. Still, Boys Town ...

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Chris Miller, Boys Town National Admissions

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Boys Town Admissions: Finding the Kids Who Need Our Help

Boys Town is a place where kids get second chances and learn how to make good choices. At Boys Town Admissions, we work every day to find boys and girls who are ready to turn their lives around and experience success in school, at home and in their community. Our residential program at Boys Town is made up a diverse population of youngsters who come here from all over the country. Some have gotten into trouble with the law and have ...

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Erin Sorensen, Online Engagement Specialist and Cheerleading Coach at Boys Town

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Boys Town Nebraska – Booster Banquet

“Thank you, Coach. Thank you for believing in me.” I heard those words recently as one of the student-athletes I coach hugged me. She has just been awarded ‘Most Dedicated’ of the Boys Town cheer squad at the annual Booster Banquet and she wanted to thank me. All I could do was thank her right back. At Boys Town, I wear many different hats. I am not only an employee in the marketing department, but I am also one of the cheerleading ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Boys Town’s National Reach and Impact

On beautiful spring days like today, I love to sit outside and reflect on all of God’s glorious deeds. The miracles of the heart that happen for the young people in our care at Boys Town would certainly be high on that list for me. What an absolute blessing it is to see Father Flanagan’s dream continue every day in the lives of the children and families with whom we work. What started nearly a hundred years ago with a few ...

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Guest Blogger + Boys Town Graduate

Tyler Simmons

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Tyler’s Journey: An Update

Hello! My name is Tyler Simmons and I am a Boys Town graduate from the class of 2012. I can remember that graduation day like yesterday, and I can say it has been one of the best experiences of my life still. As of today I am a Junior at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota and it is a tremendous experience as I am nearing my senior year of college. Attending Boys Town a few years ago ...

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Bob Pick, Vice President of Boys Town Nebraska/Iowa

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Boys Town Launches Career-Readiness Courses

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dickinson for The New York Times. Here at Boys Town, we have always prided ourselves on preparing kids for a successful life after Boys Town. As some of you may have read in a recent New York Times article, Boys Town is expanding our Career-Readiness Center class offerings to respond to the changing workplace and a renewed demand for vocational jobs. We are in the early stages of a $1.5 million remodeling project on our Home Campus that will include ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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What If There Were No Boys Town?

We wanted to know… what if there were no Boys Town? We asked some of the children and families that we heal each day. Here are a few of their responses: There is not a doubt in my mind. I would have gone back to gangs, gone back to drugs. I would not have graduated high school. Mariah They are the reason that I’m here today; I actually graduated college, I actually did something with my life. Boys Town gave me opportunity, ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Our Services, Our Stories

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. So, we’re providing you with descriptions of our services AND letting those we’ve helped tell their stories about how they were helped by our services. Read or watch—either way, you will be glad you did. The Boys Town Family Home Program provides a family for children ages 10 to 18. Six ...

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Bob Pick, Vice President of Boys Town Nebraska/Iowa

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Creating a Culture of Safety at Boys Town

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 with kids, knows how to prevent, report and respond to situations that could harm or jeopardize the wellbeing of children. Boys Town has learned through more than 90 years of experience of caring for children and its own research that certain core elements are essential in creating a culture of safety. Core ...

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Father Boes

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Working Together to Improve Child Care

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 before he was able to break free and get help. Today, he receives support from a caring aunt and uncle and is doing very well despite his painful past. I shudder to think how different his life would have been without Boys Town. Tens of thousands of hurting children and families ...

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Father Boes

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Every Child and Family is Worth Saving

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 a slum on a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay. Despite their dismal and impoverished surroundings, they create violins, cellos and other musical instruments out of recycled trash. Then they give the instruments to children so they learn how to play and develop a love of music. Watch their amazing story. These residents ...

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Father Boes

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Boys Town Family-Teachers Help Shape Youth Character

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 we serve, I hear another incredible story of a former kid who is successful because of Boys Town. Earlier this week, at our annual Boys Town Booster Banquet, about 1,500 people had the opportunity to hear this story for themselves from Tim Thompson, a 2010 Boys Town graduate. Tim readily admits that ...