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In Their Own Words

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Every ​​Child's ​Story Deserves a Happy Ending

Abandonment. Abuse. For at-risk children, the barriers to happiness are everywhere… But you can give them the tools they need to succeed.

  • Flourishing

    When Jennifer came to Boys Town in 7th grade, she lacked focus, direction and, above all, motivation. All of that changed once she entered the Boys Town school system, seizing the opportunity to shine — eventually graduating high school with a 3.65 grade point average and going on to college.


  • Escape

    Sexually abused as a young girl by a close and trusted relative, Miketazia came to Boys Town broken, guarded and vulnerable. Over the course of her stay, she not only learned to trust again, but she also began to believe in herself. Today, her dreams include college basketball and law school.

    See Miketazia's story

  • Arrival

    Jennifer's life didn't truly come into focus until she came to Boys Town. Once she accepted her new circumstances, she quickly realized how lucky she was to be part of a loving, caring family. Eventually, Jennifer graduated and joined the U.S. Navy, which took her around the world, further broadening her horizons.

    see Jennifer's story

  • Possibility

    Tyler's early life in New York was beyond difficult. He and his family moved from one burned-out drug house to another. Things got so bad at home that he slept on the subway trains at night. Tyler's only spark of hope came from playing football. Eventually his coaches connected him with Boys Town, where he flourished athletically and academically. Today, Tyler is a young man full of hope and potential.

    see tyler's story

  • Homecoming

    Andre's life was out of control. He was disobedient, defiant and failing in school. After getting caught stealing a car, he came to Boys Town. Seizing this opportunity at a second chance, Andre brought his grades up and became a standout athlete. Today, he's a young man headed to college with a bright future.


  • Resilience

    Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child, Pyper was bullied in school to the point of considering suicide. Pyper and her father found hope at Boys Town, where she fell in with a group of peers who immediately embraced her for her unique gifts.

    See Pyper's Story

  • Evolution

    Physically abused as a child by her alcoholic mother and several of her mother’s boyfriends, Kahla was placed into the foster care system, where she had difficulty fitting in. Things got to the point where Kahla was given an ultimatum: Boys Town or jail. Fortunately, Kahla made the right choice and is now well on her way to reaching her true potential.

    See Kahla's Story

  • Success

    Recently expelled from middle school, Gavin came to Boys Town a troubled and angry young man. Once here, he ​​found his focus and developed a love for helping those in need. This led him to Boys Town’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program and a bright career path.

    See Gavin's Story

  • Renewal

    As a young girl, Jennifer was raped by a trusted family member. Traumatized by the event, she turned to alcohol as an escape. Eventually Jennifer’s mother made the decision to send her to Boys Town. Surrounded by positive role models and supported by her Family-Teachers, Jennifer was able to overcome her past struggles and become a bright, energetic young woman who is full of hope for the future.

    See Jennifer's Story

  • Resolve

    Growing up on the gang-controlled streets of Santa Ana, California, Azahel saw his future in stark terms: join or die. His home life wasn't much better, facing an abusive mother who favored his brothers over her youngest son. Boys Town gave Azahel the support and confidence he needed to escape his situation and prepare him for a life of fulfillment. Today, Azahel is giving back, working on a career in law enforcement.

    See Azahel's Story

  • Destiny

    Jeff and Misty grew up separately in extremely dysfunctional families. Surrounded by gang violence and extreme drug and alcohol addiction, both were seemingly headed for certain poverty, likely incarceration and possibly even early death. Luckily for them, Boys Town offered a respite from their endangered lives and gave them the tools they needed to become successful adults. But there’s more to the story than that. Jeff and Misty have been married for 13 years and now have two children of their own.

    See their story

  • Emergence

    At 15 years old, Diana was living in a drug house and learning how to sell drugs. After witnessing a brutal murder, she was arrested and put in a youth detention center. Seemingly destined to be yet another statistic — a waste of potential — she was referred to Boys Town. Today, Diana has two master's degrees and is a successful and accomplished businesswoman.

    See Diana's Story

  • Determination

    Often left alone as a child, Karly began getting into trouble early. Alcohol abuse led to other illegal substances. With her life spiraling out of control, Karly was sent to Boys Town by her parents. While she was away, tragedy struck twice as Karly lost both parents within quick succession - her father to a hunting accident, her mother to cancer. On the brink of giving up, Karly instead rallied, and buoyed by the support of her Boys Town family, she went on to graduate from a prestigious four-year university.

    See Karly's Story

  • Victory

    DeTerrence — DT to his friends — grew up in a tough urban neighborhood surrounded by gang violence. His own mother is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed by a stray bullet that struck her in her own front yard. Eventually this street violence would touch DT personally, as he was shot one day by gang members who attacked him as he returned home from the store. His future looked bleak. Join a gang. Maybe end up in prison. Likely end up in the morgue. But today DT is a happy, well-liked high school student and a young football star. Watch him tell the amazing story of his journey from deadly streets to a bright future.

    See DT's Story

  • Awakening

    Stealing, drugs, truancy, no father growing up. Tim was headed the wrong direction fast – possibly to jail or an early grave. Seizing the opportunity, his mother sent him to Boys Town, where he thrived, both academically and athletically. He even found a father figure in his high school track coach. As a result, Tim was a standout in the University of Nebraska track and field program. He also proudly graduated with a major in child, youth & family studies, and has begun a career with Boys Town helping kids just like himself.

    See Tim's Story

  • Blossoming

    After the death of her father, Annie ran wild, becoming increasingly rebellious with each passing year. At her wit’s end, Annie’s mother eventually sent her to Boys Town. After struggling initially, Annie flourished in her new environment, excelling both academically and athletically—eventually going on to become mayor and homecoming queen.

    See Annie's Story

  • Metamorphosis

    Depressed, sad and lonely, Jacob handed his mother a letter in 8th grade telling her that he wanted to kill himself. After several years of sending her son to counselors and psychiatrists, Jacob’s mother found hope for Jacob at Boys Town. Almost immediately there was a noticeable change in his demeanor. He was engaged and confident for the first time in years.

    See Jacob's Story

  • Accomplishment

    When Alyssa got to middle school, she found that the girls who were her friends in elementary school had become her tormentors, mercilessly bullying her day in and day out. By the time she got to high school, things were so bad, she had given up on life, choosing to spend time in her room rather than face another day of humiliation. Eventually, the courts intervened and she was sent to Boys Town, where she ended up graduating with a 4.0 grade average.

    See Alyssa's Story

  • Achievement

    Growing up in the gang-infested streets of Chicago, Andy learned to fight at an early age. Eventually, his aggressive behavior landed him in juvenile detention. Faced with a choice between the possibility of jail and even early death, Andy ended up at Boys Town, where he got the family support he needed to turn his life around.

    See Andy's Story

  • Perseverance

    Sommer's biological mother and father were addicts who would often leave her and her siblings alone or with strangers when they went out looking for drugs. At one point, her father overdosed on heroin and slipped into a coma. Another time, he aimed a gun at her mother and fired, narrowly missing her. Such were the horrors of Sommer's everyday life. When Sommer first came to Boys Town, the idea of a safe, supportive family was just an abstraction. Today, Sommer is a college graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She hopes one day to return to Boys Town to help other kids in need.

    See Sommer's Story

  • Opportunity

    Born to drug-addicted parents and in and out of foster care from the age of three onward, Josh eventually became the quarterback of the Boys Town football team and a natural leader in his Family Home. Today, Josh is a college student and on a path to a bright future.

    See Josh's Story

  • Transformation

    Isaac seemed destined for a future of poverty and crime. This feeling of hopelessness eventually led him to commit a serious act of violence—one that haunts him to this day. Thankfully, with the help of Boys Town and its team of educators and mentors, Isaac has gone from an at-risk youth to a young man with a promising future in law and leadership. Click on the video to see Isaac's miraculous transformation.

    See Isaac's Story

  • Triumph

    Growing up on the mean streets of Chicago, simply making it through the day alive and in one piece was a victory for young Lily. Thankfully, she found Boys Town, which gave her the tools and support she needed to succeed. And today, Lily is a full-time nurse who has her whole life in front of her—unlike many of her childhood friends who are now behind bars or dead. See how Lily made the transformation from gang involvement to college graduate thanks to the support of people just like you.

    Lily's Story

  • Inspiration

    After losing her mom at a young age, Carley was moved around from place to place. It wasn't until she got to Boys Town that she finally had a place to call home. With the burdens of her past being lifted from her shoulders, she was able to find purpose and ultimately success. A recent graduate of Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing, she is now an inspiration to not only other children at Boys Town, but to her mentors and teachers as well.

    See Carley's Story

  • Boys Town Journeys

    At Boys Town campuses all across America, kids who have fallen through the cracks of society are being given a second chance, armed with the tools and skills they need to become happy, productive members of society. But it’s a journey, not an instant transformation. And every journey starts at the beginning.

    See Their Story

  • Choices

    It was a stormy night in Detroit about 20 years ago and Tony and his brother had just finished eating dinner out of a dumpster. A priest rescued them and made arrangements for them to come to Boys Town. Tony and his brother made a difficult and scary decision that he says was the one single decision that saved his life. Watch Tony's story and find out what he credits as the reason he and his brother aren't in prison today.

    See Tony's Story