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​​​​​​​In celebration of our anniversary, we asked some Boys Town California employees to share what Boys Town means to them. We hope you enjoy reading their ​responses as much as we did.

  • ​​​​Lawren Ramos, Boys Town California Executive Director

    What keeps me at Boys Town?

    Three distinct things come to mind when asked, “What keeps me at Boys Town?”

    1. Transformation- at Boys Town the lives of children and families are truly transformed. Early on in my career at Boys Town, I was told, “It is one thing to want to change a life; it is another thing to actually do it.” At Boys Town WE CHANGE LIVES. Whether it is a child in learning new skills, a family improving their communication, or parents learning to safely and effectively parent their child, change actually happens every day at Boys Town. On top of that we know why and how it the change happens. Having the tools and technology to actually change lives and knowing how and why it happens affords us the luxury to continually improve and remain on the cutting edge when it comes to working with children and families. I believe this is one of the key reasons Boys Town missions continues nearly 100 years later.
    2. Values- Boys Town Values are not just in corporate documents or a poster on the wall, they are alive and well. They are exhibited in the behaviors of my fellow employees day to day. They are things that run through the fabric of the organization and link us back to our founder, Father Flanagan. The number one value of Boys Town that is apparent when you meet someone here. That value is to Keep Children, Families, and Patients first. This is something that every single person in organization takes to heart and lives out every day. It is exciting to come to work knowing that the person next to you is here for the same reason and is going to keep our children and families first in their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Whether they are working face-to-face with a Boys Town child or family or whether they completing an administrative task, they are here to keep children and families first.
    3. Family- Lastly ​we are family. At Boys Town we do life together. We work hard, we make a difference, we push each other to get better and grow all while we care for each other. It has been a blessing to my family as we have walked through our life’s challenges and triumphs with and alongside many amazing people as they have done the same. We have celebrated life’s joyous moments together and we comfort each other when things haven’t gone as planned. Having been blessed with the opportunity to work here for more than 10 years, I can truly say that my family is stronger and will never be the same.
  • ​​​​Justina Ryan, In-Home Family Services Supervisor

    Justina Ryan

    I was so excited to start working for Boys Town as an In-Home Family Consultant.  The program consisted of four people, including myself, with plans to grow.  I was amazed that families open their homes to us so we can help them stay safe and achieve their goals.  The program has grown to now include six consultants, two supervisors, an administrative assistant, and a program director. In 2015, we served more than 50 families.

    One of the best parts of working as an IHFS Consultant was helping families reunify through the Family Reunification ​Program (FRP).  I have worked with several families who started services with a youth being placed in the Family Home and the parents not ready for their children to go back home.  Watching them grow to being able to work through their child’s behaviors on their own was an amazing experience.  It also gave me a chance to work with my peers from another program.  I really value those experiences.

    My most memorable family I worked with involved a family with 9 children in a two bedroom apartment.  Despite many obstacles, the mother made so much progress with consistently providing a positive structure for her children, that the children's behaviors decreased.  By the end of services, she told me that they loved having me in their home, but were ready to spread their wings and fly without me.  I know they learned a lot during services, but I learned so much more from them.

    It doesn’t matter who you are in the organization. Interns, supervisors, part time, full time, leadership-everyone is treated with the same respect by their colleagues, both in the California site and from other sites.  Boys Town is one massive family with one mission: to change the way America cares for children.

  • Justin Colson, IHFS Director

    What keeps me at Boys Town?

    Justin Colson

    For me, ​it is the commitment to growing each other. A lot of companies speak about their commitment to their employee’s growth. However, Boys Town puts that promise to work. They go well beyond providing vocational and educational opportunities. They have created a system of consultation that focuses on feedback and strengths. This system allows for us to make mistakes and learn from them without fear of drastic repercussions.

    What is really special is that at each site there are countless employees with years of experience. These people take the time to invest in others by sharing their knowledge and experience. They don’t have to, they want to. One needs only to ask.  It can be as simple as a conversation held in an office, to someone in Florida calling main campus with questions. Mentors are in no short supply at Boys Town.

    This commitment to helping each other be better engenders an atmosphere that truly promotes reaching your maximum potential. That growth only furthers a successful Boys Town mission. For me this is why I stay at Boys Town.

    I experienced this commitment to growth first hand from Jason Gallant, Central Florida’s behavioral health director. He went out of his way to help me. He encouraged me to go to graduate school. He supported me by providing internship opportunities. He made himself available to discuss personal and career concerns. It is almost impossible to put into words the type of support he provided. However, I can guarantee I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without that type of mentorship. What is great is you see a lot of those same traits at the California site. Jamie Pierce, Sr. Director of Program Operations, has gone out of her way to make sure I am comfortable. The other directors and Dr. Knight have each welcomed me and provided support. David Cherry, Common Sense Parenting Supervisor, has also gone out of his way to make sure that I am personally doing well. They all seem to care deeply for their staff and do whatever it takes to promote growth because seeing their staff succeed gives them true joy.

  • Angela Meyers, FSSP Volunteer Coordinator

    Angela Meyers

    I came to work at Boys Town because I wanted to directly impact the lives of kids in need. During my time as a Family-Teacher, I witnessed so many kids learn to make better choices and become more healthy and happy individuals that it ​was easy to keep doing a tough job in the face of such triumphs. The hardest times were when I didn’t seem to make any difference at all. My husband and I had a girl in our home a few years ago that struggled with mental illness and lacked basic social skills. In short, she was not making improvements, and continued her risky and self-harm behaviors to the point she had to be moved to a higher level of care than our program could provide. Josh and I were left feeling very defeated and discouraged but a few weeks later a letter arrived in the mail from this girl. She thanked us for all we had done for her, apologized for her behaviors, and let us know that she was doing well. A couple months later I got to see her walk across the stage at her high school graduation. This was a girl who had previously been unable to sit in an auditorium full of people but was now able to be part of the ceremony and it was a powerful moment to be part of. A year or so later I ran into her and her mom at the grocery store and she got to tell me that ​​she was successfully living at home, in college, and taking classes to become a nurse. I don’t always get thanks for what I do, or get to see the results myself, but I stay with Boys Town because I know that I’m helping change the lives of the kids and families I work with.

  • Inma Salcedo, Behavioral Health Clinic Administrative Assistant

    I have had the great opportunity to work for Boys Town for nine years in many different positions. One of the things I like most is the quality of the people who work here, dedicated to improving the quality of life of families through the different services Boys Town provides them.

    One such family that I think of often was able to rebuild their lives thanks to the effective programs at Boys Town: In-Home Family Services, Common Sense Parenting® and the Parent Mentor program. Today, this family has been reunited and continued working together using the methods taught. Witnessing a family regain control of their lives with their children and be productive in society is an invaluable bonus, which can only be achieved by dedication of an organization that works together for the benefit of the family. I’m proud to continue Father’s Flanagan work, no matter where I sit or walk, because as he said: “The work will continue, you see, whether I am there or not, because it is God’s work, not mine” and I live under this premise.

  • Katrina Cadlaon, Family Support Services Program Parent Trainer

    Katrina Cadlaon

    I feel incredibly blessed to have found an organization that carries out a dream to care for the youth and ​families of our communities. I loved learning more about Boys Town during my pre-service training in Omaha, where I got to see and hear more about Father Flanagan’s mission. It has always been a personal belief of mine that the family unit is the building blocks of society, so in order to have a strong and healthy society, we need to invest in building up our families. I see that happen every day at Boys Town, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your work make a positive difference in other peoples’ lives!

    I am constantly motivated, inspired, and humbled by the families I serve. I learn so much from their stories as parents, their daily challenges of work-life balance, and all the while raising children. I have a great team in my fellow Parent Trainers, my Supervisor, and Program Directors. They are intentional about improvement and feedback, so that we can all do a better job at our jobs.

    Carrying out a mission bigger than myself, making a positive difference, staying motivated, inspired and humbled, constantly learning, and having a great team, why would I want to work anywhere else?

  • Phuong Nguyen, Family Support Services Parent Trainer

    Phuong Nguyen

    I feel very special and privileged to be the first person to teach Common Sense Parenting® (CSP) in ​Vietnamese.  By teaching ​CSP in Vietnamese, I’ve been able to help Boys Town California reach a population of parents that may not otherwise have been able to get access to this service.  Thus far, over 356 participants have participated in Boys Town’s CSP program offered in Vietnamese.  Because of the limited availability of parenting classes in Vietnamese, I’ve ​had parents who were willing to travel all the way from San Diego to Westminster to attend my CSP course.

    The people I work with are so friendly and caring. The entire Family Support Services program works together as a team, and I know that I can count on them to help out (i.e., cover classes, childcare, etc.) if needed.  I don’t have to play politics at Boys Town. Boys Town is willing to invest in its employees’ development and professional growth with the availability and access to numerous trainings and workshops.

    I love to teach, and to see how the knowledge I’ve passed on has been able to make a positive impact on the families I’ve worked with. I’ve had one mom tell me upon completing a second course with me, which was a year after she’s completed the first course, that what she’s learned in my class has saved her relationship with her teenage daughter. Wow….how could I have done that anywhere else?  Thank you, Father Flanagan, for letting me be a part of this amazing organization and to be able to aide in this meaningful work of bringing hope and healing to so many families.

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