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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.

Catching Up with Sommer
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by Boys Town Contributor and Former Boys Town Youth, Sommer

tags: Youth Stories

Catching Up with Sommer

If you’ve been a follower of ours for awhile, you have probably heard of Sommer, her story is pretty amazing. Her drug-addicted biological parents often left Sommer and her brothers alone for days while they went out looking for drugs. Her father once even fired a gun at her mother right in front of her — luckily missing both of them. At age 6, Sommer entered the foster care system, where she struggled with her new situation and fought with her many foster parents.

Eventually, Sommer came to Boys Town, where she took full advantage of new opportunities, excelling both academically and athletically. She was a member of Junior ROTC and the student council, and she served as vice mayor for a time.

Upon graduation, Sommer went to college and earn a degree in psychology. Her hope was to eventually return to Boys Town to help others as she was once helped.

Where is Sommer Today?

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows her that Sommer followed through with her plans. She recently graduated from the University of Nebraska–Omaha, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Having acquired a taste for higher learning, Sommer plans to work on a master’s degree in counseling, and eventually a doctorate.

Right now, though, Sommer has a job lined up in social services, where she’ll work to reunite families who have been torn apart by abuse, addiction and crime.

She’s also getting married next April, and her wedding will be officiated by one of her former Family-Teachers ®.

It would be tough to find a more compelling Boys Town success story than Sommer’s. She experienced some of the most difficult challenges a person can face, yet through it all she’s drawn upon her own willpower, intelligence and determination to succeed beyond everyone’s expectations. She credits Boys Town — and her Family-Teachers in particular — with providing an environment that allowed her to reach her potential. Although, upon further reflection, that may be premature, because it’s clear that while her trajectory is set and aimed high, Sommer hasn’t even come close to reaching her true potential.

We’ll let you know when she reaches that next milestone. Stay tuned!

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