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Thomas's Story

Growing up in a Washington D.C. drug neighborhood and abandoned by his birth mother as an infant, Thomas was passed around from relative to relative, sexually abused and even shot by a stray bullet. Today, Thomas is a ​junior at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania​ and an intern in the Capitol Hill office of Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, thanks to the love and support of his family at Boys Town.


Read Video Transcript

Video 1

My name is Thomas Jefferson McRae Junior. I'm 21 years old and I'm from Washington D.C. From the court reports, they said that my mom had a chance to get me. They offered her rehab. She rejected it. I kind of felt that she wanted the drugs more than she wanted me, and that stained my heart. They usually say that your mom is your first love, but my dad was my first love. I just remember at times I was just run into his arms and just jump and he would just pick me up and he would sit me on his lap and he would shake his leg and I would just make an “aaahhhhh” noise. I would never understand a back story of why he wasn't there fully but I would take him being there half than not being there at all. My Dad had me moving around different homes because he couldn't take care of me. So I was in 11 homes growing up. I was sexually abused before I was in foster care.

I want to say I was five when it first happened and it went on until I was 10. I grew up in a very drug infested area. I got shot three days before my birthday. So I was just getting ready to turn 11. That shooting is what led to me going into the foster care system and that shooting led to me not being able to see my father on a consistent basis anymore. That shooting led to me finding out that my father wasn't my biological father. I've seen my dad twice after I went into the foster care system and after that he just disappeared. It was a rough transition. This is now come into the foster care system where the only thing I came into the system with was over 100 wrestling men and the Spiderman book bag that my Dad gave me. So this is my first home. I'm not with my Dad, who I want to be with so desperately. It is to the point where I am just so frustrated. Like, why me? At the end of the day I wasn't happy. I was in 11 homes and I just wasn't happy in that first one and that first one kind of set the tone for the rest of the homes.

Video 2

Thomas: The next thing you know, a social worker comes and I drive up to this Harry Potter looking place. The atmosphere was different. One of the greatest things Boys Town has ever done for me is linking me up with the Geters. They were the missing piece. They taught me love and it's not just because of what they said, it’s because of how they acted.

Mrs. Geter: Some of the kids come in and they had such horrible situations that they're kind of just spewing hate or they've never really experienced love so they actually portray that. But Thomas was not really that kind of kid. He had some difficulties and trauma in his life but he didn't allow that to make him a sour person. It was easy to love him. I'll say that.

Thomas: There was times that Mr. Geter didn't care about the clock. He sat and talked to us whether it was 11, 12, 1 in the morning. He sat down, upstairs, at this table and literally, "What's going on? Talk to me."

Mr. Geter: Sometimes, my wife and I would be dead tired and they would be trying to ask questions. Him and his other buddy that was in the home. But they would come and, "Hey Mom. Hey Dad. Tell me about this. Tell me about that." And I said, "Okay." You know, even though I'm tired, my wife and I would take time to pour into them and we see the results.

Thomas: What Boys Town does is they invest in you. You just have to be willing to take the investment and run with it. And that's what I love about Boys Town and I love about the family structure here. It's perfect. Never would've thought that I would be in college and graduating. Never would've thought that. I'm blessed tremendously because I had the pleasure of working on Capitol Hill with Senator Ben Carter which escalated my career becoming a public speaker. Boys Town took a kid that was hurt emotionally, angry, sad, didn't know what he wanted in life. They took this lost kid and made him into something great. I can't thank them enough for helping me find Thomas.

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