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News From Boys Town Nevada​​​

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the-rogers-foundation-gives-100000-to-boys-town-nevadaThe Rogers Foundation Gives $100,000 to Boys Town NevadaNevada
Friday, Jun 9, 2017

​Dedicated to transforming lives through arts and education in Southern Nevada, The Rogers Foundation recently awarded a total of $240,600 in grants to three local programs, including $100,000 to Boys Town Nevada.

"Our mission at The Rogers Foundation is to transform lives through arts and education," said Beverly Rogers, Chairman of the Board for The Rogers Foundation. "The $100,000 Gift of Assurance to Boys Town Nevada will support a program that puts family counselors in schools to work with educators to identify early signs of family instability.  We put a lot of focus on Clark County's under-resourced student population—we know that when kids are hungry, have troubles at home, and can't concentrate for any number of personal reasons, learning is not a priority.  We are thrilled to get behind Boys Town's endeavor to break the cycle of poverty by making a learning environment possible."

Golden-Nugget-Donates-to-Boys-Town-Nevada-Behavioral-Health-ClinicGolden Nugget Donates to Boys Town Nevada Behavioral Health ClinicNevada
Golden Nugget
Monday, Apr 17, 2017

Boys Town Nevada's new Behavioral Health Clinic received a surprising donation last month in the form of a fully stocked toy room. Golden Nugget Casino employees have partnered with Boys Town Nevada for the past several years through their employee volunteer program. After already being a strong donor in the yearly Christmas toy drive, Golden Nugget employees banded together once again to gather toys and gift cards to fill the new toy room located in the Behavioral Health Clinic.

The toy room will allow children to have a safe place where they can interact and play while their parents utilize the services offered through the clinic. Toys have proven to be an important resource when used in different therapies such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. In these types of therapies, toys serve as an outlet for children to express themselves and build relationships with the clinicians in a comfortable setting.

The new Behavioral Health Clinic is projected to see 50-80 children this year.  This growth is due to the increase of referrals since its opening in mid-February. Boys Town Nevada hopes to employ another psychologist in the fall of 2017 in order to reach more children and families in need within the community.

Boys Town Nevada Behavioral Health Clinic extends a thank you to Karla Roberts and Golden Nugget employees for their generosity in furnishing the toy room at our new Behavioral Health Clinic.​

Stolen-Christmas-Gifts-Can’t-Rob-Holiday-Joy-of-Nevada-FamilyStolen Christmas Gifts Can’t Rob Holiday Joy of Nevada FamilyNevada
Lorena, Jesus and their family
Thursday, Apr 6, 2017

Lorena Acevedo and her husband Jesus Montero have seven children – Ariel, Carlos, Elvis, Lorena, Ashley, Michelle and Marvin – ranging in ages from one to twelve years. That makes Christmastime and gift-buying a year-round and busy affair. Last year, the couple decided to get a jump on the holidays and buy their children’s Christmas gifts early. Once purchased, the presents were hidden in the family’s home so the kids wouldn’t find them.

Sadly, just before Christmas, their house was burglarized; the thieves made off with many of their belongings and most of the kids’ gifts.

“This was heartbreaking and an enormous financial hardship for Lorena and Jesus,” said Donna Pacella, Development Director for Boys Town Nevada. “They simply couldn’t afford to replace the gifts they had so diligently saved for and picked out for their children.”

Lorena and Jesus were crestfallen that their kids wouldn’t have the joyful family celebration they had planned. But after a few days, they resolved to find a way to save Christmas and not let the burglary define their family’s holiday season.

That’s when they reached out to the Boys Town Nevada Care Coordination Services program. There, they found compassionate professionals who could identify helpful community resources and services.

Lorena met with a Boys Town Consultant who worked with her to reach out to others in the community for holiday assistance. She contacted the local police station and was told her family would receive a full holiday dinner. Next, a local recreation center provided toys to replace the gifts that had been stolen.

When the children’s school heard about the family’s dilemma, staff members donated shoes and more toys.

In addition, Boys Town gave Lorena and Jesus a Wal-Mart gift card that allowed them to buy what they needed for their family’s holiday celebration.

“Lorena and Jesus were so surprised and very thankful for all the assistance,” Pacella said. “It was more than they had ever imagined.”

Thanks to two parents’ perseverance and Boys Town Nevada’s support, what could have been a holiday spoiled by Grinches turned into one filled with joy and shining examples of the goodwill of others.

After-a-Chaotic-Childhood-Journey,-Teen-Changes-Course-at-Boys-TownAfter a Chaotic Childhood Journey, Teen Changes Course at Boys TownNevada
Josh
Friday, Mar 17, 2017

Like so many youth who come to Boys Town Nevada, Josh was all too familiar with the foster care and juvenile justice systems.

Since age 4, he had been in 10 different placements while living in California and, more recently, in Nevada. 

That chaotic childhood journey finally ended in 2015 when then-14-year-old Josh moved in to the Boys Town Nevada Family Home Program. 

When he arrived, Josh was on probation and had been regularly skipping school. He also had been abusing drugs and had problems with authority figures and controlling his anger. His history of multiple placements and lack of stability only worsened these issues.  

But in his new Family Home, Josh finally found a steady, loving place where he could begin to heal and work on getting better.  

"Josh learned what a real family life looks like," said Donna Pacella, Development Director for Boys Town Nevada. "He calls the other boys in the home his brothers and looks to them as family. While here, he has learned how to better control his anger and express his feelings. He has worked hard and come a long way. We are very proud him."

Josh's biological family members who live in Las Vegas also have seen those great improvements in his behaviors. He regularly visits them and is slowly working toward building a strong family bond again.

At the Boys Town Nevada Board of Directors meeting in September 2016, Josh shared his story and talked about the hardships of growing up in numerous placements as a youngster. He said he finally found the right place with his Family-Teachers® and the love and care he received in their home. 

"Boys Town has provided me with support, helped me reconnect with my family, and I've learned skills that will help me be successful," Josh told the Board.  

One the most important things Josh said he loves about Boys Town is knowing he will always have the support he needs.

Recently, Josh was honored at the Boys Town Nevada Bi-Annual Awards Night, receiving the Jo Marshall Award that recognizes the Boys Town youth who achieved the greatest GPA improvement from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. Josh hopes to continue his academic success by pursuing a law degree after leaving Boys Town. 

"For a young man who struggled to even attend school, this turnaround is dramatic and very commendable," said Pacella.  

When Josh came to Boys Town Nevada, his once-difficult journey took a completely different direction. Now he's on a steady, smoother path toward a positive, brighter future.

a-mothers-grit-and-determination-sets-positive-example-for-her-sonsA Mother’s Grit and Determination Sets Positive Example for Her SonsNevada
Brothers Erick (left) and Adrian have been inspired by their mom’s tenacity and love.
Friday, Jan 27, 2017

​​Her marriage was a fairytale until it wasn't. Infidelity, manipulation and verbal abuse had created a toxic home life for Claudia Chavez and her children. She had to make a choice: stay or go?

She chose to leave.  

Claudia mustered the courage to seek a new start for herself and her young sons, Adrian and Erick. With no financial support from her estranged husband, Claudia worked two jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. It was an uncertain and demanding time, but Claudia didn't complain. Instead, she went to counseling to heal emotional scars and enrolled in parenting classes to be a better mom.

She also didn't hold onto grudges.  

Claudia wanted her boys to stay connected to their father, so she often hired him to babysit. This warm gesture, however, wasn't rewarded.      

Her ex-husband remarried, became a stepfather and then ignored Adrian and Erick. It felt like a second divorce to 8-year-old Adrian, and he lashed out.

Jealous and angry, Adrian took his sadness out on his little brother, his mom and his teachers. There were fights, arguments and tears at home and in school. His grades went into freefall. Adrian was so out of sorts and disruptive, school officials referred the family to Boys Town Nevada In-Home Family Services® for support and counseling.   

When services began, Claudia was apprehensive. She feared it would antagonize her ex and dash any hopes of reconnecting him to his children, said Boys Town Family Consultant Yoly Smith, who worked with Claudia's family. 

To overcome Claudia's resistance, Yoly patiently listened to the family's concerns and praised Claudia for being a positive role model. The family quickly felt more at ease, and for the next six weeks, they embraced the Family Consultant as one of their own.

Yoly taught Claudia parenting skills, including how to correct misbehaviors, set appropriate boundaries and use praise to reinforce and encourage her sons. Yoly also taught Adrian and Erick helpful social skills so they would know how to channel their feelings in healthier, more helpful ways.

The skill teaching had a profound effect on the family, especially Adrian. His daily disruptions at school diminished to the point where he went weeks without a single incident. At home, there was much less tension and far fewer arguments.

"Yoly showed us new ways to seek opportunities," remarked Claudia. "We've grown so much and have a new way of seeing the world!"

The boys are thriving and although they are not as connected to their father as they once were, they are happy. Claudia continues to work hard and be a provider. She recently began a new job that has expanded her professional opportunities, giving the family more flexibility and financial freedom.

With a fresh perspective and boundless courage, Claudia and her sons have reclaimed their future.​

boys-town-a-beacon-of-hope-for-troubled-youthBoys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled YouthNevada
Thursday, Dec 29, 2016

​​​​​​​This story aired on CBS Sunday Morning and was posted on cbsnews.com on December 25, 2016.

"There's no place like home." Rarely is that truer than this time of year. Our Christmas Cover Story is all about a very special home for some very needy children, as reported by Tony Dokoupil:

Right near the midpoint of America, ten miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska, there's a town that sits between childhood and whatever comes after.

"These young people are about to become citizens of the most famous village in the world," said Father Stephen Boes at a swearing-in ceremony.

In this town, almost every kid is at a crossroads -- and the goal of all the grown-ups here is to help kids leave Boys Town behind.

"I do solemnly promise … that I will be a good citizen."

Eighteen-year-old Chase Pruss, from Dodge, Neb., was sworn in here six months ago --  arriving, like a lot of the kids, straight from jail.

"I took the school safe," he said.  "Just for money. For Beer money. And gas money. And buy cigarettes."

Two more break-ins followed, and Pruss ended up arrested in front of his bewildered parents. "My mom was crying, my dad was crying," he said.

He had run through four different schools, stolen and lied.

And he faced 80 years in prison, ​until a judge helped get him into Boys Town. "I ​​had that mindset of, "I never want to ever ​put myself in the position where I could land myself back in an orange jumpsuit," Pruss said. "I never ​wanted my ​jail ID ​number to say ​who I was."

Andre Harris (right) in class at Boys Town. CBS News

Seventeen-year-old Andre Harris came to Boys Town the same way.  Nearly three years ago, back in Amarillo, Texas, he stole a car, and ended up in juvenile detention.

"I didn't feel like I was gonna amount to anything after that," he told Dokoupil.  

Frankly, he didn't think he'd amount to much before jail, either. College seemed out of reach. He can't remember hearing someone say they were proud of him.

Dokoupil said of Boys Town, "More felons per capita here than any town in Nebraska."

"Probably!" Harris laughed. "But we're all doing our best to change."

Almost every week here at Boys Town, new boys (and since 1979, new girls, too) are sent by social workers, judges and desperate parents. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting in trouble.

And Boys Town is their last chance.

"A lot of people would say they're bad kids," Dokoupil said. "Is that how they see themselves when they get here?"

"Some of our kids do," replied Tony Jones, one of Boys Town's "family teachers." "They see themselves as, you know, on the bottom of the totem pole."

And how do they change that mindset? "You show them that this is your decision. This is your life."

Jones and his wife, Simone, run one of 55 homes on campus. Eight Boys Town children live there like a family, alongside the Jones' three biological kids.

"Every single young man that has come through my home has now become a part of my family," Jones said.

This is a large part of what makes Boys Town so powerful; all 360 kids living here have paid Boys Town parents like Tony and Simone.

"It's a professional, full-time Dad, brother, uncle, cousin -- whatever my boys may need me to be at that particular time in their life, that, then, is who I become for them," Jones said.

Tony Jones and his wife, Simone, and three children share their home with eight Boys Town students. CBS News​

He began at Boys Town as a boy himself. He was born to a shattered family in Detroit. "I can recall my brother and I standing at a bus stop, and it was in the dead of winter. And we only had one pair of socks to share between the two us," Jones laughed.

But then a priest gave the Jones brothers a chance to change their lives at Boys Town. "It was a total transformation," he said.

Dokoupil asked, "Where do you think you would be if you had said no to Boys Town?"

"Oh, two places: I would either be incarcerated, or I would be dead."

Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. CBS News

The Jones story is typical of a hundred years of stories at Boys Town, which began in 1917 as Father Flanagan's Home for Boys. The most beloved clergyman in America, he created arguably the most famous reform school in the world.

Of his charges, Father Flanagan said, "His bruised and tortured heart and mind must be nursed back to normal health through kindness."

You may remember a 1938-Oscar winning movie about the place starring Spencer Tracy. But what you probably don't know is it's a real town, with a real post office and police department.

At about $65,000 per student per year, Boys Town is comparable to a top private college -- and it's mostly taxpayers footing the bill.

But taxpayers pay for prisons, too -- more than $39 billion a year nationally. Boys Town says it can help keep those prison cells empty, while nearly doubling the chance that these students will graduate from high school.

Dokoupil asked Jones, "How do you avoid coming in and being just another person telling them all the things they're doing wrong?"

"By telling them all the things they're doing right," Jones replied. "That's how you help kids change. It's being able to say, 'Hey, young man, you did a good job this morning getting up.'"

"It almost sounds like a joke."

"Well, you know something? That little praise goes a long way."

That little praise goes all the way back to Father Flanagan's ​founding idea: "There are no bad boys."

And if that all sounds too pat to be successful … well, the results say otherwise.

When asked where he would be without Boys Town, Chase Pruss replied, "I'd be in lockup." As did another.

And if that all sounds too pat to be successful, just listen to the results. Tesharr said, "I've been here for a short amount of time. But since my first day I didn't feel like I was in a place where I couldn't leave. I felt like I was home."

Of course, the Boys Town way does not work for every child who comes here; there are failures. But for Chase's parents, Dan and Trish, it's been nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

Dokoupil asked them, "Who was Chase before Boys Town and who is he today?"

"He was dishonest, disrespectful, a thief," said his mother. "And now he is the Chase that I always wanted him to be."

For Andre Harris, the change has been no less dramatic since stealing that car. "It's not even the same person," he said.

And how is he different? "My actions, the way I speak. I've grown up. I've become a young man."

He's a school leader now … a star on the track team … and he's just found out he's headed to college next year.

But first, he's headed to Amarillo for the holidays … a place he hasn't seen in nearly three years. It's a place that Boys Town has been preparing him for since the very day he made his grand theft exit:

It's home.

"This is my Christmas gift," Robert Harris told Dokoupil. "This is all I wanted!"

Andre Harris is welcomed by neighbors back home in Amarillo, Texas. CBS News
holiday-celebrations-at-boys-town-nevadaHoliday Celebrations at Boys Town NevadaNevada
Christmas stockings
Thursday, Dec 29, 2016

​​​At Boys Town Nevada, there is no shortage of events being held to honor the holiday season. The Family Home Program holds multiple events throughout the months of November and December. One of the site's larger events is a decorating day at Family Homes. Community organizations, staff members and Boys Town children work together in order to prepare all the homes with decorations for the holidays.

Children from the programs are also able to participate in a Secret Santa within their homes, due to the generous donation of gift cards from Bank of America, attend dinner at PF Changs where they are given $250 worth of Nike clothing and shoes, and listen to UFC Fighters share their inspirational stories. Youth can also attend the annual Wyndham Christmas Party where they are provided dinner and presents and are also given tickets to see the Speedway Glittering Lights Drive through at the Motor Dome.

Many other events such as toy drives are sponsored by different organization. A Target registry is made for In-Home Family Services children and donors are able to purchase a toy for a child directly off of their Christmas wish list. Boys Town Nevada is opening a new Behavioral Health Clinic in January and held a toy drive to fill the toy room within the clinic. The Golden Nugget Casino generously donated enough toys to fill the entire room which resulted in Boys Town Nevada dedicating the toy room to the Golden Nugget.​

teen-celebrates-christmas-returning-to-home-that-changed-his-lifeTeen Celebrates Christmas Returning to Home that Changed His LifeNevada
Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016

​​This story is written by Jonathan Cisowski. It was published on lasvegasnow.com on December 25, 2016.

The Boys Town of Nevada continues to make a difference for at-risk youth and provided a Christmas reunion for one family.

The program has given at-risk children and families support along with the education they need to succeed. A ​recent graduate stopped by to spend Christmas with those he say has now become his second family.

8 News NOW reporter Brittany Edney has the story.

View video

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 usmint.gov 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 "...you 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.

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