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teens-turnaround-takes-off-at-boys-town-nevadaTeen's Turnaround Takes Off at Boys Town NevadaNevada
Adan shows off his certificate for reaching the Achievement level of the Boys Town motivation system, the highest level possible
Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016

​​Adan Perez used to be a rebellious ​youth, running away from home and running into all kinds of trouble.

Today, Adan is a Runnin’ Rebel at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the first member of his family to graduate high school and attend college.

Adan’s path to success was a long and difficult one. Fortunately, it ran through Boys Town Nevada.

Adan had been involved in the juvenile justice system since 2010 and had spent a year in a secure detention facility before he became a resident of the site’s Family Home Program. Like many youth who come to Boys Town, Adan had an extensive history of delinquency – substance abuse, gang affiliation, possession of a weapon, property destruction, truancy and running away from home. He also had been in 20 out-of-home placements during his younger years.

But Boys Town Nevada was different. Once there, Adan made a choice – a choice to change.

The Boys Town Family Home Program provides a structured, family-style living environment where youth have an opportunity to turn their lives around by learning social skills, finding success in school and building healthy relationships. In every Family Home, a trained married couple called Family-Teachers® helps youth create a foundation for success as productive adults.

Adan worked hard to achieve the personal and behavioral goals that were set for him by his Family-Teachers, Danny and Annora Holland. In school, he maintained a high grade point average and actively participated in choir and the track team.

Thanks to the efforts of the Hollands and other staff members, Adan also successfully reached the highest level of the Boys Town motivation system, making him a positive role model for other youth in his Family Home.

And Adan’s run of successes didn’t stop there. 

After graduating from high school, Adan applied for admission to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Nevada-Reno. He was accepted by both colleges and chose UNLV; he recently moved into the campus dorms and started fall semester classes.

Adan earned over $6,500 in scholarships to help fund his college costs. He was selected for a Leadership Conference scholarship and accepted the award during an NBA Summer League game at UNLV between the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also is an active member of a youth council for a local nonprofit organization that helps homeless high school students, and was recently selected to chair a successful community project sponsored by the council.

Additionally, Adan works at a local restaurant, using the opportunity to demonstrate the new skills he learned at Boys Town Nevada. He continues to hone his independent-living skills and is becoming familiar with the Las Vegas bus system, with the help of Boys Town Aftercare Specialist Tasha Leaver, so he can easily commute to and from work.
It’s a busy schedule, and it keeps Adan on the run. But now, the teen knows he’s headed in the right direction.

united-states-mint-unveils-designs-for-boys-town-centennial-commemorative-coinsUnited States Mint Unveils Designs for Boys Town Centennial Commemorative CoinsCalifornia, Nevada
Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016

​​​​This press release was published on August 23, 2016.

Designs for coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Boys Town were unveiled today during a ceremony at Boys Town Music Hall in Boys Town, Neb.

"Each time a person looks at any one of these unique designs, it will spark an interest in learning about the history of Boys Town, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by this organization to give comfort and purpose to children in need, and recognizing the significant contributions of Father Flanagan," said United States Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett ​Jeppson.

Jeppson was joined by Boys Town​ representatives Cordell Cade and Kymani Bell, mayor and vice mayor, respectively; Dan Daly, Executive Vice President, Director of Youth Care; and Jerry Davis, Vice President of Advocacy.

Public Law 114-30 authorizes the Mint to mint and issue no more than 50,000 $5 gold, 350,000 $1 silver, and 300,000 half dollar clad coins with designs emblematic of the centennial of Boys Town. 

The gold coin obverse (heads) features a portrait of Father Flanagan.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN CENTENNIAL," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "FR. EDWARD FLANAGAN," "LIBERTY," and "2017."  The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

The gold coin reverse (tails) features an outstretched hand holding a young oak tree growing from an acorn.  As ​stated in the idiom "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow," this design represents the potential of each child helped by Boys Town to grow into a productive, complete adult.  Inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "THE WORK WILL CONTINUE," "FIVE DOLLARS," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."  The reverse was also designed by Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.

The silver $1 coin obverse features a young girl sitting alone and gazing upward into the branches of an oak tree looking for help.  The empty space around the girl is deliberate and meant to show the child's sense of loneliness, isolation, and helplessness.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN," "When you help a child today...," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY," and "1917-2017."

The obverse was designed by AIP Designer Emily Damstra and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. 

The coin's reverse features an oak tree offering shelter and a sense of belonging to the family holding hands below it, which includes the girl from the obverse.  Inscriptions include " write the history of tomorrow," "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "ONE DOLLAR," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."  The reverse was also designed by Damstra and sculpted by Menna.

The clad half dollar obverse features an older brother holding the hand of his younger brother in 1917.  They walk toward Father Flanagan's Boys Home and the 1940s pylon representing what would become Boys Town.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN," "1917," "2017," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY," and "Saving Children."  The obverse was designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.

The coin's reverse features a present-day Boys Town neighborhood of homes where children are schooled and nurtured by caring families.  Out of these homes come young adults who graduate from high school and the Boys Town program.  Inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "Healing Families," and "HALF DOLLAR."  The reverse was also designed by Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

Pricing for the Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins will include surcharges-$35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each $1 silver coin, and $5 for each half dollar clad coin-which are authorized to be paid to Boys Town to carry out its cause of caring for and assisting children and families in underserved communities across America.

The Mint will announce the release date and additional pricing information for the Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins prior to their release in 2017.

boys-town-nevadas-ufc-night-kicks-off-fight-weekBoys Town Nevada's UFC Night Kicks off Fight Week Nevada
UFC Fighters
Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016

​​Nearly 100 Boys Town Nevada youth and families gathered July 6, 2016 to enjoy Chinese food and listen to UFC fighters speak about their personal lives. UFC Night has become something the Nevada site looks forward to, thanks to Boys Town Nevada Board Member Tony Sgro. Sgro developed a partnership with UFC’s Reed Harris and Panda Express to host this successful event.

The partnership with UFC began over a decade ago and has since provided Boys Town Nevada with inspiring events twice a year where UFC fighters share their stories and interact with the youth. This year, famous fighters Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, and Johnny "Hollywood" Case delivered speeches to the audience.

Each fighter discussed their upbringings including: how they overcame obstacles through determination, hard work and staying focused, and how these values helped them on their path to becoming UFC fighters. The fighters then related this back to how the youth shouldn’t let their obstacles keep them from achieving their goals and how they can also overcome obstacles through determination, hard work and by staying focused.

“The youth were captivated by the stories of each fighter,” said Lesly Johnson, Boys Town Nevada Development Coordinator. “Just looking at their faces- they were intensely listening and their faces lit up.”

After the presentation, the youth had the opportunity to take photos with the fighters and receive signed autographs. They were also given gift cards and UFC T-shirts.

“Boys Town Nevada is really appreciative of UFC for coming out and doing this for us twice a year.” Johnson said. “Especially during fight week when the fighters are so busy; we really appreciate that they took time out of their busy schedules to come and talk to the boys and girls of Boys Town Nevada.”

impact-las-vegas-donation-benefits-common-sense-parentingImpact Las Vegas Donation Benefits Common Sense ParentingNevada
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016

​​On June 6, ​2016, Boys Town Nevada was chosen as a $23,000 grant winner from Impact Las Vegas. This grant was awarded to Boys Town Nevada above 76 other Nevada nonprofits to support its Common Sense Parenting® (CSP) program. Boys Town Nevada and Impact Las Vegas share a similar goal of improving the community which is what makes their partnership so strong.

Impact Las Vegas is a nonprofit organization modeled after Impact 100, an organization created in Cincinnati, OH in 2002. Since the organization’s origin, it has spread to 30 cities across the United States, including Las Vegas, and 5 across Australia. Impact Las Vegas is made up of 23 philanthropic women whose main goal is to create a greater impact in the community by pooling together their individual donations to create one large gift. The amount of $23,000 donated to Boys Town Nevada is the collective donations of $1,000 from every member of the organization.

“Boys Town Nevada’s application was very well done. It was very thorough- explaining exactly how many parents and families it would impact in the community,” Maureen Romito, President and Founder of Impact Las Vegas said about the organization’s final decision, “It made us feel like we could make a big impact in the community.”

Common Sense Parenting is a research-based six-session, 12-hour course that teaches parents techniques to help build strong, healthy relationships with their children. Boys Town Nevada has been teaching CSP in the Las Vegas area since 1991 to promote stronger family bonds. This program differs from any other parenting programs in the Las Vegas area due to the Boys Town Continuum of Care where families in need of additional services outside of CSP have the resources available to them. In addition, most CSP classes are available at elementary schools as part of Boys Town Nevada’s Community Engagement Initiative, which make classes easier to attend.

The $23,000 grant from Impact Las Vegas will benefit more than 1,530 parents through the purchasing of books and course materials and assist Boys Town Nevada as they expand their partnership with Clark County Schools in hopes of serving more than 6,000 families over the next four years.

“The Las Vegas community is blessed to have generous organizations, like Impact Las Vegas, who care so passionately about their community that they invest their time, talents, and treasure,” said Denise Biben, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director. “Boys Town Nevada is honored to have been selected to partner with Impact Las Vegas as we invest in the future of our city by investing in its parents!”

Interested in taking our parenting classes? Learn more ​about CSP!

boys-town-nevada-celebrates-a-landmark-anniversary-at-the-journey-of-hope-galaBoys Town Nevada Celebrates a Landmark Anniversary at the Journey of Hope Gala Nevada
Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016

​​​Boys Town Nevada celebrated its 25th anniversary at the 12th annual Journey of Hope Gala on Friday, May 6 at the Venetian Resort, Hotel, and Casino in Las Vegas. Approximately 380 guests attended the event, including President and National Executive Director Father Steven Boes and Bob Batt from the Boys Town National Board of Directors.

The evening began with a private cocktail reception for special guests, honorees, and major sponsors of the event, followed by a cocktail reception, silent auction, cash call, live auction, dinner, and program. The guests, dressed in formal attire, enjoyed evening entertainment by a jazz quartet from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Guests were also inspired by guest speaker and Boys Town alumna Christiana Martin.

Each year, the gala honors someone who has made a significant impact on children in our community. The 2016 Hope Award Recipients were Diana Bennett and Scott Menke, co-founders of Paragon Gaming. As President of the Bennett Family Foundation, Diana Bennett supports various youth and women’s organizations throughout the Southern Nevada area such as Three Square Food Bank, Noah’s House at the Shade Tree Women’s Shelter, Communities in Schools, Child Focus and The Children’s Heart Foundation. Mr. Menke is also very involved in the community. He is a supporter and past president of the Children’s Heart Association and supports Boys Town Nevada and Three Square.  

In total, the event raised approximately $400,000, which will help Boys Town continue to meet the needs of Nevada’s children and families.

“This year’s Journey of Hope was an incredible culmination of 25 years of commitment to the more than 15,000 children served in Nevada,” said Denise Biben, Executive Director, Boys Town Nevada. “The evening was attended by more people, received more auction items, and raised more than in any previous year. Our development team, led by Donna Pacella and incorporating our dedicated board, did a fantastic job of choreographing an outstanding celebration!”

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a success!

boys-town-nevada-highlights-positive-changes-with-its-youth-awards-nightBoys Town Nevada Highlights Positive Changes with its Youth Awards NightNevada
Thursday, May 12, 2016

​​Praise ​is an important and ​key element of the Boys Town Model, and on April 25, Boys Town Nevada took praise to the next level at its Youth Awards Night. Held twice a year, the Youth Awards Night recognized youth for their outstanding academic and behavioral achievements. Additionally, youth voted on peer awards, while the Boys Town staff were honored for their dedication to the mission.

This tradition has grown to become a beloved ceremony for Boys Town Nevada. The 47th bi-annual event held on April 25 welcomed 90 guests, bringing current youth, alumni, family members, and staff together to praise each other’s achievements.

“While most of our society focuses on what teenagers, especially those at-risk, do wrong, we celebrated all the wonderful things they are doing right!” said Denise Biben, Executive Director, Boys Town Nevada. “For many of our kids this is the first time in their life they’ve received public praise and been made to feel special. Every kid should have those moments, and last night we made sure our kids did.”

Home awards for the evening included:

  • Highest GPA by Family Home
  • Best School Citizenship by Family Home
  • Good Samaritan Award
  • Flanagan Award

Youth voted awards included:

  • Best Greeter
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Most Likely to Become Famous
  • Most Likely to Become a Family-Teacher
  • Most Positive Male/Female Role Model
  • Outstanding and Significant Progress Award

Superstar Youth Awards were also given out to recognize Family-Teachers’ biological children who selflessly share their parents with the Boys Town family.

Boys Town Nevada looks forward to the next Youth Awards Night to be able to showcase even more progress and achievements.

denise-biben-named-executive-director-of-boys-town-nevadaDenise Biben Named Executive Director of Boys Town NevadaNevada
Denise Biben, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director
Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015

Boys Town is ​pleased to announce that Denise Biben has been named Executive Director of Boys Town Nevada. Denise brings strong credentials to her new role, including 15 years of experience at Boys Town in a variety of positions.
“Denise is well prepared and well-credentialed to assume the responsibilities as head of Boys Town Nevada – not the least of which is having a strong familiarity with the program,” said Dr. Dan Daly, Boys Town Executive Vice President and Director of Youth Care. 

As Executive Director, Denise will oversee all operations at Boys Town Nevada, ensuring the nearly 25-year-old site continues to grow and spread the Boys Town mission in Nevada. As Denise transitions from her previous role of Senior Director of Fidelity Operations at Boys Town, she is excited to work with and support the talented staff in Boys Town Nevada. “ I am looking forward to working with the staff members to set a clear vision, communicate everyone’s part in achieving that vision, and to develop and support the staff that are changing lives every day,” she said. “We have an awesome team in Boys Town Nevada and I look forward to joining them in serving the kids and families of Las Vegas.”

Denise began her Boys Town career at Boys Town California as the Director of Program Operations, presiding over all of the site’s programs. She moved to a national leadership role in 2006. In January 2014, Denise assumed the role of Senior Director of Program Fidelity which requires leadership over Fidelity Consultants who support all of Boys Town’s locations across the country.

In January Denise officially took on the role of executive director and notes that this is a great time to join the Boys Town Nevada team. “There are a number of exciting opportunities and challenges in Nevada right now and I can’t wait to see where we can go as a site,” she said. Denise already has two main objectives she looks forward to working on – advocacy and increased community engagement.   
“In Nevada, the current system provides very little funding to support their children we serve in our Family Home Program and it severely limits the length of time we have to help them learn the skills they will need to be successful.  So, we will continue to advocate for what we know is best for kids,” Denise said. “We also have a fantastic opportunity to continue our community engagement initiative with the Clark County School District and to expand and hopefully replicate what we’ve learned with the first four schools.”
“The most exciting thing, though, is to see what can be accomplished in Nevada,” added Denise. “The community is ready, the need is there; we have an extremely talented team, and an engaged and connected board, and some great partners. The opportunity to truly impact a system and to improve the lives of kids and families is incredible.”

Denise received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Centenary College of Louisiana and her Master’s degree in Counseling from Louisiana Tech University.

boys-town-nevada-gives-teen-runaway-a-new-direction-in-lifeBoys Town Nevada Gives Teen Runaway a New Direction in Life Nevada
Friday, Oct 16, 2015

Aeryn’s teen years were filled with chaos and turmoil.

Growing up in a dysfunctional family with little guidance or support, Aeryn made one bad choice after another. She got caught up with the wrong crowd, abused drugs and was chronically truant at school.

When Aeryn did attend school, she barely managed to maintain a “D” average. Her attendance was so erratic, she eventually just dropped out. With no structure at home and no one supporting her, Aeryn’s life spiraled out of control.

Frequent arguments with her family led Aeryn to run away for long periods of time. But life as a runaway proved disastrous. She got in trouble with the law and was arrested several times.

Aeryn was already on probation when she was picked up for stealing. Standing before a juvenile court judge, she was charged with grand larceny. The judge, who was familiar with Boys Town Nevada, believed the site’s residential program offered the best, and perhaps the last, opportunity for Aeryn to get her life back on track.

Aeryn was immediately placed in one of the site’s Family Homes, a jarring change for a young lady who was accustomed to living by her own rules. But the highly structured, family-style environment turned out to be both a rude awakening and a welcome rescue.

The new surroundings brought limits and responsibilities, and required an immediate attitude adjustment for Aeryn. That wasn’t easy, but the teen slowly warmed up to her Family-Teachers®, who listened and provided unconditional support. Their calm, reassuring presence enabled Aeryn to think more clearly about her choices and the direction of her life.

With patience, structure and teaching from her Family-Teachers, Aeryn began to take responsibility for her actions and her emotions. She learned self-control strategies as well as decision-making and life skills that empowered her to think through her feelings instead of impulsively lashing out or running away.

Aeryn also recommitted herself to her education. She returned to high school with a more positive attitude, determined to make up for lost time. In the classroom, she successfully put into practice many of the skills she learned at Boys Town. She worked diligently on her studies, even taking additional coursework so she could get back to her grade level. Her determination and perseverance paid off as she upped her grades to a “B” average and graduated with her class, something she never dreamed was possible.

“Boys Town was like a savior,” Aeryn said. “I probably wouldn’t have graduated. I wouldn’t have gone to college. Probably wouldn’t even talk to half my family anymore.”

Today, Aeryn continues on her road to success. She’s balancing college and a job, has her own apartment and has reconciled with her family. She also takes advantage of Boys Town Aftercare Services, a program that advises and guides graduates like Aeryn who are transitioning to adulthood and a life of true independence.

innovative-boys-town-nevada-outreach-program-rescues-familyInnovative Boys Town Nevada Outreach Program Rescues FamilyNevada
Maria and her daughters received support from Boys Town Nevada.
Thursday, Oct 15, 2015

Emotionally ​spent and financially broke, Maria Regalado was caught in a whirlwind of despair and devastation. In her words, life was “like a tornado.”

“I had no job. My power bill was due. My rent was due. I was ready to be evicted,” explained the mother of two. “I had more problems than answers.”

Maria was in jeopardy of losing everything, including custody of her school-aged daughters, Aimee and Athziry. The recovering addict had already experienced the loss of an older son when her parental rights were terminated because of drug abuse. That history, which also included involvement with Child Protective Services, had Maria feeling especially vulnerable.

Although now clean and sober, Maria had reason to worry.

Her daughters’ school attendance was abysmal, and their truancy raised red flags with teachers. School officials were so concerned, they referred the family to Boys Town Nevada, which had staff at the school to assist struggling students and at-risk families like the Regalados. (The girls’ school is one of four in Las Vegas participating in Boys Town Nevada’s Latin School-Based Collaboration.)

A Boys Town Consultant met with Maria, assessed the family’s situation and identified their needs… which were many.

Maria was the family’s sole provider and struggled to obtain the most basic necessities. Emotionally troubled, she had difficulty holding down a job. With little money, the cupboards were often bare and the nutritional needs of the girls suffered. The home also had no furniture, so there was no desk or table where the girls could study or do their homework.

A lack of money, with all its associated burdens and limits, was only one obstacle. Parenting was another.

Maria struggled to maintain her sobriety. When overcome by stress, she turned harsh and overbearing or aloof and distracted. There was no normalcy, consistency, rules or routines for the girls.

To stabilize the family’s situation, the Boys Town Nevada Consultant connected Maria to a local food bank where she could stock up on healthy breakfast and dinner staples. Boys Town also helped Maria buy furniture so the family could live in a fully furnished home.

With the Regalados’ most immediate physical needs addressed, the Consultant turned her attention to their emotional needs.

The Consultant helped Maria find therapy that addressed her mental health issues and supported her addiction recovery. Maria also attended Boys Town Common Sense Parenting ® classes, where she learned how to use effective discipline, communicate more effectively with her daughters (as well as with their school) and create structure in her home.

Today, the Regalado family is stronger than ever. Mom is drug-free and pursuing full-time employment while continuing therapy. She’s also tapping into local services for additional support. Aimee and Athziry are regularly attending school and, most importantly, are living in a safer and more stable home.

The intervention efforts were intense and not always easy for Maria, but she is grateful for Boys Town’s help, describing it as a “blessing.”

“I have a new outlook on how I can redirect my daughters and my family,” Maria said.

las-vegas-youth-travels-to-dc-to-advocate-for-kidsLas Vegas Youth Travels to D.C. to Advocate for KidsNevada
Friday, Sep 18, 2015

A former ​Boys Town Nevada Youth recently took part in a congressional briefing in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 17.  Seventeen year old Aeryn was in trouble with the law before coming to Boys Town, she has since turned her life around and now she’ll be part of a briefing that will inform others about the needs of other at-risk children.

Aeryn provided insight for an overview of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and the ways in which it diverts youth from juvenile justice system involvement, saves taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, promotes safer, stronger and healthier youth, families and communities. The legislation expired in 2007, but there is a movement to reauthorize the bill.

“Today, the JJDPA remains the only law that sets out national standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system,” said Howard Olshansky, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director. “It codifies what we have come to think of as common-sense: kids, even when they come into conflict with the law, should be treated as kids, and we hope Aeryn can help put the need for this law to be reinstated in perspective.”

The new bill strengthens and updates the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which has provided states and localities with federal standards and supports for improving juvenile justice and delinquency prevention practices and contributed to safeguards for youth, families and communities for more than 40 years.

Now nineteen years-old, Aeryn lives in her own apartment, attends college and works part-time. She’ll continue to work with Boys Town, as she earns her college degree, but she’s well on her way to a bright future.

youth-inspired-by-father-flanagans-missionYouth Inspired By Father Flanagan’s MissionNevada
Monday, Aug 24, 2015

Father Flanagan’s mission ​to help the youth of America has inspired many people nationwide for nearly one hundred years. Cameron Garemani is one of many who work to achieve Father Flanagan’s dream of improving the lives of kids every year. What started as the need to complete charity hours for school, has turned into Cameron’s lifelong desire to serve Boys Town.

Sixteen-year-old Cameron Garemani attends high school in Southern California. When his school required the kids in his class to fulfill a service hour requirement, Cameron began a quest to find a charity that he was passionate about. His mother, Kristin, is close friends with Denise Walsh, a Boys Town Nevada Board Member, who educated Cameron about the many different programs Boys Town has to offer.

Inspired by the mission of Boys Town, Cameron became involved with Boys Town Nevada’s Journey of Hope Gala in 2014. He personally solicited more than $4,000 worth of auction items for the event but Cameron’s work did not stop there. The day after the gala, he toured the Family Homes. It was there that he realized that the boys and girls in the homes were teenagers just like him, and his desire to help became even stronger. As the time to start gathering items for the 2015 Gala came around, Cameron was already hard at work. He more than doubled his fundraising from the previous year, raising nearly $10,000 in solicited auction items and cash donations through fundraising events he hosted.

In honor of his efforts, Father Steven Boes, Boys Town Executive Director, named Cameron an Honorary Citizen of Boys Town, saying, “It is truly touching when young adults exemplify compassion and support for others.  Your dedication to Boys Town Nevada says a lot about your character and leadership abilities.”

When asked how his work with Boys Town has given him a different perspective of the world Cameron said, “It helps me to see how many problems there are in families all around the United States and how easy it can be to fix these problems with the amazing programs that Boys Town has created.”

As Cameron begins his senior year of high school in the fall, he plans to remain involved with Boys Town. He will serve as the co-chair for the Journey of Hope 2016 Gala, determined to make it the most successful event yet. Even once he graduates high school Cameron intends to continue his work with Boys Town in some capacity, as Boys Town is a charity that has “touched his heart.”

boys-town-gala-honors-news-anchor-courvoisierBoys Town Gala Honors News Anchor CourvoisierNevada
Dave and Victoria Courvoisier
Monday, Jul 6, 2015

This article is written by Dorothy ​Huffey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It was published on on June 22, 2015.

A crowd of 300 supporters gathered May 28 at The Venetian for Boys Town Nevada’s 11th annual Journey of Hope Gala, featuring an evening of cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, music, dancing and other entertainment.

This year’s Hope Award winner was Dave Courvoisier, news anchor at KLAS-TV, Channel 8.

Boys Town Nevada opened its doors at 821 N. Mojave Road in 1991, but its history dates back more than 90 years ago when the Rev. Edward Flanagan founded the organization in Omaha, Neb.

Kendall Tenney, founder and CEO of 10e Media, emceed the event.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance by Boys Town youth, Taylor See sang the national anthem. The Rev. David Devereaux of Desert Spring United Methodist Church delivered the blessing.

Tommy Ward and his band entertained during dinner.

Enjoying the dinner of watercress and shaved endive salad, entrees of grilled New York steak au poivre and shrimp scampi with selected wines, and a dessert of chocolate caramel torte were Sharon and Norm Jenkins, Vanessa and Josh Houssels, Silvia and Kevin Buckley, Robin and Patty Joyce, Thomas Roberts, Ivette Maningo and Tony Sgro, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, and former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., and Bonnie Bryan.

The dinner committee’s co-chairmen were Maggie and Brian Plaster, and Christina and Dave Saltman.

Devereaux made the presentation of the Hope Award to Courvoisier. He was honored for his commitment to helping foster children and adoptable children and he is a supporter of Father Flanagan’s original Boys Town. Courvoisier was present with honorary board member Norm Jenkins in 1990 for the ground breaking for Boys Town Nevada and he has remained a committed Boys Town board member since 1991. A video of Courvoisier’s accomplishments was shown.

Boys Town Nevada Executive Director Howard Olshansky spoke of the many services Boys Town offers to families. A video showed how Boys Town works with local schools to instill Boys Town values to strengthen the body, mind and spirit of today’s youth.

Auctioneer Christian Kolberg helped to raise money with a successful Raise Your Paddle, and he conducted a live auction for 10 packages.

Items auctioned included a weeklong condominium stay at Hotel Laguna at Laguna Beach, Calif., including dinner at the Lumberyard Restaurant and boat rental, that sold for $3,750; a week in the Zulu Nyala Reserve with meals, room and viewing drives (minus airfare) went for $3,500; and a Wyndham Hawaii resort for seven nights at either Kona Hawaiian in Kailua or Bali Hai Villas in Princeville sold twice for $3,000 each.

Other auction items included a beach getaway at Solana Beach and a trackside table for four at Del Mar Race Track in California that sold for $2,250; and four tickets for NASCAR and four tickets for the National Finals Rodeo that sold for $800.

Other guests at the event were Victoria Courvoisier, Jamie and Corey Jenkins, Helen and Farrow Smith, Carolyn Sparks, Paula Francis, Sally Tenney, Brian Lamb, Brittany Winberg and Mark Escoto, Kelda and Carroll Johnston, Ron Cummins, Cheree Johnson, Jay Johnson, Gabriela Lain, Joy Pierce, Donna Pacella, and Emilia Cargill and John Naylor.

Dancing to the music of the Amanda Avila Band concluded the evening.

ufc-fighters-share-inspiration-with-boys-town-children-and-familiesUFC Fighters Share Inspiration with Boys Town Children and FamiliesNevada
Monday, Jun 22, 2015

On May 21, 2015, UFC Fighters Forrest ​Griffin, Luke Rockhold, Matt Hughes, and Rafel dos Anjos visited Boys Town Nevada to share a little bit about themselves with at-risk children, youth and families. Nearly 100 children and families currently receiving Boys Town services came to meet the fighters.

Organized by Tony Sgro, Chair of the Friends of Boys Town and Reed Harris, Vice President of Community Relations for the UFC, this annual event has become the highlight of the year for many of the youth living on Boys Town’s Family Home Campus.  One young man, who came to Boys Town with an extensive criminal history, credited the UFC fighters with inspiring him to get back on track, raise his grades and join the football and track teams at school.

Each fighter has a unique story of overcoming adversity that they were able to share with the children and families.  These stories become a source of hope and inspiration for Boys Town children and families struggling with issues such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, and abuse.

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin advised the youth to “Be Sharks”—to always keep moving in the direction of their dreams. Following Griffin, Matt Hughes, the two-time UFC World Welterweight Champion, shared how his faith in God has given him strength in difficult times.

“The stories shared by the fighters were incredibly inspirational,” said Donna Pacella, Boys Town Nevada Development Director. “It was amazing to see the kids react to Rafael dos Anjo’s stories of growing up in overwhelming poverty in Brazil. He was able to escape the violence and gangs to become the defending lightweight champion.”

“This is an annual event that has been going on for as long as I can remember,” said Howard Olshansky, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director. “It’s a fantastic partnership with the UFC, and we are humbled that they continue to make time for Boys Town children and families year after year.”

In addition to meeting Griffin, Rockhold, Hughes, and Dos Anjos, guests received dinner, gift-cards, and UFC t-shirts, compliments of the Zuffa, LLC and Patti, Sgro, Lewis, and Roger Attorneys at Law. This inspirational evening was truly a testament to the fact that hard work and determination yield endless possibilities.


clark-county-board-of-commissioners-recognizes-boys-town-nevadaClark County Board of Commissioners Recognizes Boys Town NevadaNevada
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In honor of National Child Abuse ​Prevention Month, the Board of Commissioners of Clark County, Nevada, recognized Boys Town Nevada for their tireless efforts in supporting youth and families in Clark County and throughout the state.

Boys Town Nevada along with Olive Crest Nevada, was presented with a proclamation on Tuesday, April 21. Boys Town Nevada Board President, Paul Huygens, was present to accept the award on behalf of the site.

“We are endlessly thankful to be supported by so many amazing community partners that share our belief that all children deserve to live their life in a safe, stable, nurturing environment in communities that foster well-being,” said Howard Olshansky, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director.

Boys Town was honored for their unwavering support of Nevada’s children and families, but more specifically, the Board of Commissioners pointed toward Nevada’s programs and results as stated in the proclamation:

“Whereas, Boys Town Nevada gives families and children a second chance at success with their Integrated Continuum of Care; their research-proven services aid in reuniting kids with their families, finding foster homes for others, or providing a Boys Town family for those with nowhere else to turn; and

Whereas, using their Family-Based Continuum of Care, boys Town Nevada served over 600 families in 2014 and close to 200 families already in 2015; and

Whereas, all children deserve to live their life in a safe, stable, nurturing environment in communities that foster well-being; and

Whereas, the prevention of child abuse and neglect is a public responsibility and effective child abuse prevention strategies succeed through partnerships created among citizens, schools, law enforcement, health systems, faith-based organizations, and community programs.”


great-grandmothers-sacrifice-means-better-life-for-great-grandsonGreat-Grandmother’s Sacrifice Means Better Life for Great-Grandson Nevada
Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

As a great-grandmother, ​Lyndia was at a stage in life where most people begin to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor. With adult children, the fulfilling and often-hectic daily responsibilities of parenting seemed to be well behind her.

But life and family issues often have a way of interrupting the best of plans.

All three of Lyndia’s great-grandchildren were living with their grandmother – Lyndia’s daughter – because the children’s mother had alcohol and addiction problems and was no longer in their lives.

And all three siblings had behavioral, emotional and developmental issues that required a lot of care.

It soon became apparent that the task of caring for all three children was too much for Lyndia’s daughter. That’s when Lyndia stepped in, volunteering to take in 5-year-old Bradly.

Lyndia, a former social worker, had recognized Bradly’s behavior problems when he was very young. Now, as his primary caregiver, she was determined to find the help he needed in order to thrive and succeed. But living in a small rural town in Montana, there were few services and none that met his needs.

The only solution was to move. After researching areas that could provide better services and a school for kids with specialized needs, Lyndia uprooted her life in the Big Sky state and moved to Las Vegas.

Once there, a doctor diagnosed Bradly with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and ADHD. Lyndia knew Bradly needed individualized services to address these issues. But it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to find them because her vision was so poor that she was considered legally blind.

Lyndia was not going to let that stop her from helping Bradly. But she just didn't know where to start.

A breakthrough came when staff at Bradly’s school told Lyndia about Boys Town Nevada and the possibility of getting assistance there. Lyndia contacted Boys Town and soon began receiving visits from Tasha Leaver, a Consultant with the site’s In-Home Family Services program.

After assessing the family’s needs, Leaver determined that since Lyndia’s limited vision hampered her independence, especially when she had to get to the store or get Bradly to doctor appointments, the first order of business would be to help the great-grandmother become more comfortable navigating around the community.

“I worked with Lydia on helping her get used to the bus routes from her house and to the closest Wal-Mart where she could buy groceries and Bradly’s medication,” Leaver said. “We spent a long time crossing streets so she could get familiar with the routes and crossing signals. This was a huge step for Lyndia and allowed her to feel more comfortable and independent.”

Leaver also helped Lyndia locate transportation services that could help get Bradly back and forth from medical treatments and therapy services.

Next, Leaver and Lyndia worked to develop a structured home environment and a safe approach for disciplining Bradly.

“He knows she isn’t his mom and there were times when he tried to exert his will on her and do things his way,” Leaver said. “So we worked on establishing authority with Bradly through structure, rules and consequences for behaviors.”

When services ended after a month and a half, the family’s situation had improved immensely.

“The family is doing great,” Leaver said. “Bradly is much more compliant with Lyndia at home and is really improving at school, and with his other issues through therapy.”

Lyndia still has big challenges ahead as she helps Bradly work toward reaching his full potential. But with Boys Town’s help, she is now a much more confident and effective advocate for herself and her great-grandson.

“What I really admire about Lyndia is her determination to get the services Bradly needed,” Leaver said. “She wasn’t and still isn’t satisfied with accepting that this is as good as it gets for him. Lyndia has really sacrificed a lot for her great-grandson so he can be in a better place in the future.”


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