I started law school right after I graduated. So, it was actually surreal in a way, that I remember being in law school and thinking that six years ago, I was in jail. My mother married a man that was...he was addicted to crack. One day, he got into a very heated argument with my older sister. He told my mom that my older sister and I had to move out, but that my younger sister could stay. At the time, I think I was 14. Eventually, you have to earn your keep, in some kind of way. And so, we asked them to teach us how to sell drugs. I was sleeping and I heard fighting, out in the living room.
They dragged him into a bathroom. Then I saw one guy leave the bathroom and grab a knife. And one guy grabbed...it was a broken doorknob. So, I just kept hearing screaming and screaming and screaming and it went on for, I don't even know how long, until it stopped. The guys came out of the bathroom and they were like, "Diana, clean that up." And I looked and there was just blood...everywhere. And he was dead. And so, I just was in shock. I mean, I'd never... I got to stop for a minute there.
They came and arrested me and they put me in some type of a youth detention center like the jail for minors. I was there for about six months, maybe. It was going to be, you know... this is what would become of my life. I was going to be like another one of those statistics of, you know, just another kid that had potential and then nothing ever came of it.
It was like a point person on my case, I remember him saying, "Have you ever heard of Boys Town?" It was just unlike anything I'd ever seen before. It's a different type of an approach. It's like they give you a family. So it's just a completely different life experience that it gives you, but it shows you that there are better things out there.
I don't think there are really any other organizations, or any that I'm really aware of, that provide such a comprehensive kind of a healing process, I think, that it is aimed at so many levels. They're worried about you mentally. They're worried about teaching you career skills for when you leave. I mean, there's no other organization that will provide all of that. You know, to think that I could have almost not ended up there is just...
Diana: I left Boys Town about 13 and a half years ago. So, when I graduated from Boys Town, I got a full-ride scholarship to Creighton. Loved it and Boys Town supported me the entire time that I was there. I wanted more of a business background and so I did the two Master's back to back. I actually work at a law firm now and I'm in charge of business development and marketing for a national firm. I started my own consulting company about four years ago and that's still going well and it's growing. So, it's been a long road. But it's a far cry from where I started. I think Boys Town works long term for people, because they don't give up on you. It's not just like you're there and then you leave unless you want it to be that way. They teach you how to build healthier relationships and about not burning bridges. And about maintaining relationships and they care about you.
Tricia: I really enjoy seeing the long-term effect of Boys Town on the kids that are in our house. When we keep in contact with our kids and see when they're in their twenties how they're doing. Just to see the growth that they've made, whether it's in the type of family that they now choose to have, how they're raising their own children or their success in their careers. It's really exciting to see that we've made a difference in their lives.
Diana: What I'm really thankful for is just the life it gave me. It just completely... it gave me my life back.