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40 year anniversary

Celebrating 40 Years of Girls at Boys Town

April 25th, 2019     By Boys Town Contributor

Boys Town History, Family Home Program, Residential Care, Village of Boys Town

The story of how girls first came to Boys Town is one of opportunity, courage and a milestone change to meet the needs of America's youth.

It started as a grand experiment four decades ago, an effort to extend Father Flanagan's original mission of helping homeless boys so that girls who were facing tough challenges could benefit from Boys Town's life-changing care.

In 1979, a few girls began living on Boys Town's Home Campus in Nebraska, which up to that time had been open only to boys. The number of girl residents quickly grew to more than two dozen, and steadily increased into the early 1980s. In 1983, the first five girls graduated from Boys Town High School.

The decision to welcome girls to Boys town initially was met with much uncertainty and some resistance. But Father Robert Hupp, then Boys Town's Executive Director, realized that young girls faced the same problems as boys, and that Father Flanagan's mission had to include helping and caring for all children. Boys Town successfully weathered the storm of controversy that came with this new approach, and more and more girls were able to find success through our compassionate, family-style care.

This year, Boys Town proudly celebrates the 40th Anniversary of girls being welcomed to Boys Town's residential program. Today, girls make up about half of the youth population that receives care in the Village of Boys Town and at several of our affiliate sites. Girls have served as the mayor and vice mayor of Boys Town, have excelled in academics, sports, music, art and leadership, and have represented the Home as inspirational ambassadors. In 2017, during Boys Town's Centennial celebration, a new statue depicting a boy carrying a girl on his back was dedicated on our Home Campus, joining our iconic "Two Brothers" statue in symbolizing Boys Town's commitment to helping children.     

As we mark this 40-year milestone, we remember the thousands of girls who have gone on from Boys Town to become strong, successful women and make their mark in the world. We also ask for your continuing support and prayers for the girls who are currently in our care, and those we will serve in the future.

To read and view success stories about some of our past female residents, please visit:

Sonya: https://www.boystown.org/who-we-help/Pages/Sonya.aspx

Kelsey: https://www.boystown.org/Pages/paying-it-forward.aspx

Diana: https://www.boystown.org/who-we-help/Pages/emergence.aspx

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