Boys Town Logo
Boys Town Logo

When Kehinde arrived at Boys Town, he had been living in a violent neighborhood, where every day, kids were being shot. He hated school and virtually never attended and all he really cared about was himself.

“I was already at Boys Town, when one of my close friends from home was shot and killed at a gas station,” said Kehinde. “That was a lot to take. It broke me as I knew that I could have been in the same position.” That realization, combined with the love and support he received at Boys Town, changed Kehinde’s heart and ultimately his life path.

Everyone noticed the change in him. His Boys Town Family-Teachers saw him transform from “an all about me” person to one who was genuinely committed to giving back to his friends, family and the community. He started working hard in his classes, participated in multiple sports and became a peer disciple. Just last year, he graduated from high school.

Boys Town has been giving kids like Kehinde a second chance for more than 100 years, but recognized that kids today need even more help, particularly with the difficult transition from high school to adult life. For many youth, graduation from Boys Town was both celebratory and scary as returning home was really not an option as it would put their safety at risk and could jeopardize their ability to stay on the right track. They were left wondering what to do next.

Kehinde was one of those graduates. He wanted to go to college as his love of kids made him want to pursue a degree in early childhood education. As he said, “I wanted my turn to take my steps to change the world and help end the violence for the generations to come.” That’s where Boys Town’s Successful Futures program stepped in.

“Our program was developed to bridge the gap between high school and independent living by helping youth to successfully navigate this sometimes-overwhelming life change,” said, Michelle Tauber, Senior Director of Operations for Successful Futures.

The program focuses on career exploration, post-graduation planning and independent life skill training. Seniors work together with their Successful Futures specialist to identify strengths that match their interests to help choose the path that is right for them. This includes training in the trades or in preparation for a professional career; distribution of need-based and merit scholarships; internships, apprenticeships, shadowing, volunteering and other career-oriented opportunities.

Program participants also receive assistance in finding safe housing and reliable transportation. Boys Town provides each graduate with a stable support system by assigning them a support specialist to guide them through the transition until age 26.

Boys Town’s Successful Futures is having a life-changing impact on the participating youth like Kehinde, who is now in college, giving them the guidance and direction they need to succeed after graduation and beyond.

“We believe that the generational impact of our program will be witnessed in the years to come, as these young people become adults with a strong commitment to the importance of giving back to friends, family and the communities that they call home,” said Tauber.