A Search Well Ended Print Content Email Content Thursday, Sep 29, 2016 Page Image Page ContentGrowing up in Santa Ana, California, Azahel just wanted a safe place to call home.The problem was, that place didn't exist where he lived. Gangs ruled the streets of his neighborhood and people were dying in shootings. For years, Azahel had suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of his mom. And things didn't get much better when he was removed from his home and started to bounce from one foster placement to another. He was 15 before he eventually found that safe place. It was Boys Town California."When I got to Boys Town on the first day, I definitely felt more free," Azahel said. "I had slept through the night well knowing that I wasn't at a shelter. I was in more of a home environment."Boys Town California not only provided a home with rules and structure, a first for Azahel, but also gave him hope. His Family-Teachers®, Candice and Roussell White, made sure he got caught up at school and attended all of his required counseling sessions. Most importantly, they taught him the basic life skills that so many kids in foster care lack – how to make good decisions, how to apply for college, how to find a place to live, how to manage money and many others. Today, Azahel has a new family of his own with a couple that adopted him. He's graduated from high school, where he played on the football team, and is active in his church. His plans include attending college and pursuing a career in law enforcement, maybe even becoming a police officer so he can go back to his old neighborhood in Santa Ana and make a positive difference in the lives of other young people. All because he found that safe place to call home."Without Boys Town I wouldn't be as healed as I am now," Azahel said. "I wouldn't have big dreams, motivation, goals. Boys Town gave me a heart."