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Jered Turner’s Journey from Family-Teacher® to IT Computer Support Analyst

From Family-Teacher to ​Information Technology (IT) Computer Support Analyst at Boys Town, Jered Turner has made a leap in his career within Boys Town. Turner first became interested and started working as a Family-Teacher because his wife always had a passion to help others and Turner loved working and mentoring high school children and youth groups – they felt it was the perfect job for them. For the next two and a half years, the couple worked as Family-Teachers ® before Turner decided to transition his work into the IT department at Boys Town.

The leap from Family-Teacher to IT was quite a change in careers so the question ponders, why did he decide to try something new? The answer is very simple and starts from his hobby that started at a very early age. “I built computers from scratch, set up home theaters, fixed my PlayStation controllers by taking them apart, and many other things,” explained Turner. “My father started an IT company out of the spare bedroom in our house when I was a kid and it’s still around today, 20 years later. Computers and technology has always been a part of my life and an interest.”

Turner had originally gone to school for graphic design and did a lot of web design. “I missed that aspect of my life and getting to do that again at Boys Town has been amazing,” said Turner. “I get up for work in the morning and sometimes feel a little guilty because I’m getting paid to do something I enjoy! The work days fly by with exciting challenges every day.”

Although Turner never had an official IT job before, having experience with his hobby and as a Family-Teacher within Boys Town, gave him a unique perspective on how things functioned. “IT supports the internal business of the Boys Town mission,” explains Turner. “Knowing that part of Boys Town allows me to make better decisions and know what questions to ask, or things to consider, I was able to shed light on why certain things happen or don’t happen. For example, why is it hard to get a hold of Family-Teachers at certain times of the day? It’s because it all revolves around the kids, so knowing that helped me immediately.”

What are the similarities and differences between his two Boys Town jobs? “There honestly aren’t too many similarities when it comes to Family-Teaching and IT,” replied Turner. “However, some things you learn as a Family-Teacher carry over. For example, people tend to get frustrated quickly with computers because they require a lot of repetition and patience which is very similar to my experiences with some of the youth.”

“The biggest difference is the number of hours in my work week. A lot of Family-Teachers joke about being on the clock for 128 hours a week and some weeks it really felt like that.  Other weeks it feels like you only work five,” explained Jered. “In the IT world, Boys Town does an excellent job of keeping the balance of family time. This job allows me to learn about different kinds of programming and other aspects of IT.”

Working in two very different jobs within the Boys Town community has given him a great variety of experiences. “Some of the best experiences from Family-Teaching are the bonds made,” said Turner. “We’ve had many youth that lived with us tell us how much we helped them. We still keep in contact today and ask for advice and that is such an honor. The kids are what I miss more than anything.”

For IT, Turner’s greatest experiences are about bonding and building relationships as well. “I would have to say working with people with similar interests in IT, is very thrilling to be a part of,” said Turner. “Being able to rub elbows with my dad as I enter into a field he has spent over 25 years working in has been great. In the last year I have been able to identify a niche for myself in networking, which I greatly enjoy. I enjoy the math that goes with it and the logic behind how it works. Pursuing a career that I know will last the rest of my life and still being able to part of the Boys Town community is really the best feeling ever!”


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