Throughout its more than 100-year history, thousands of boys and girls, each with their own unique story, have come to call Boys Town home. Many of them arrive filled with heartache and pain, or have suffered neglect and loss. Others feel broken without the hope of a better life. That all changes when they are welcomed into the community of Boys Town.
Helping children and families heal and grow in body, mind and spirit is Boys Town’s guiding mission. Last year alone, we helped more than half a million kids nationwide through the life-changing programs and services we provide. We know that by changing lives today, we are helping to ensure brighter tomorrows.
At Boys Town, we give children love, a family, a support system and people who hold them accountable. We help them to heal and instill in them a strength of character. In the process, an amazing thing happens. They start to feel a genuine desire to help others in need by giving back and they have the strength and drive to accomplish it. Tyler Simmons, a 2012 Boys Town Alumni, is a prime example of giving back to improve the lives of others.
Tyler knows the hardships of life first-hand. Growing up in New York, he endured horrible living conditions and very little support from the adults in his life. His spark of hope came from playing football, where his coaches took note of his situation and connected him with Boys Town. At Boys Town, he found a home, where he thrived both athletically and academically. After graduation, he went on to receive both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and felt called to return to his NYC community to give back to others, just as he had been helped.
Today, Tyler serves as Director of Physical Preparation for a New York non-profit called About U NYC, where he works with student athletes from Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx in situations like his own experiences growing up. His goal is to help them to overcome adversity and develop to their full potential. In his role, Tyler shares the core values of community, leadership, discipline and accountability that he learned at Boys Town to mentor youth. “It’s about so much more than sports,” said Tyler. “We want our kids to have a higher sense of community and the opportunity to level up from their circumstances. In fact, we want them to have more opportunities than they ever thought possible.”
Tyler credits Boys Town for giving him a greater appreciation for life and an understanding of the importance of giving back to others. “Giving back allows you to multiply the help you have received,” he said. “It’s the sharing of that love and support that makes the world go around.”
We are proud to share Tyler’s story. His life exemplifies why Boys Town’s impact cannot be measured solely on the kids we help, but by the communities of others our Boys Town kids lift up in the lives they go on to lead.