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Leaders from Boys Town Florida Sites Visit State Capitol from Boys Town Florida Sites Visit State Capitol<p>​All three Boys Town Florida sites recently gathered at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee to celebrate and participate in Children's Week Florida.</p><p>Children's Week is the only annual event held in the state that celebrates and honors its commitment to children, youth, and advocates. During the week-long celebration, Boys Town had a booth set up at the Capitol building representing all three sites and staff and children were able to participate in events.</p><p>Executive Directors from the three Florida sites were able to meet with legislatures to discuss Boys Town services and the importance of high-quality residential care. Legislatures and their delegates were also educated on the LIFT Together initiative and the opportunities Florida has with all three sites working together to bring the program to the state. It would bring together educators, students, families, and Boys Town experts to address every student's social-emotional needs.<br></p><p><img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Leaders-from-Boys-Town-Florida-Sites-Visit-State-Capitol/statecapital-2.jpg" alt="statecapital-2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;" />"It is important to leverage the strength of all three Florida sites to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and families and we're grateful to be able to come together to do just that," said Bethany Lacey, Executive Director for Boys Town South Florida.</p><p>While in Tallahassee, Boys Town Central Florida's Executive Director Laurie Stern was able to tour the North Florida site and meet the staff who works there. "I was excited to be able to come to Tallahassee and participate in Children's Week to represent Boys Town Florida and the life-saving work we are doing across the state," said Laurie.</p><p>"We were excited to host the other two Florida sites here and have representation from the whole state as we met with our legislative delegates to advocate for the children and families we serve," said Boys Town North Florida Executive Director Marcus Lampkin.</p> ​<br>2022-02-14T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="State Capitol" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/statecapitol.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
A letter from our new Executive Director letter from our new Executive Director<p>​​Dear friends of Boys Town, <br></p><p>I am so excited to be a part of the Boys Town family! I have been working within child welfare in Central Florida for the past 18 years, and the Boys Town reputation of results driven focus and attention to children and families speaks for itself. I would love to share a little bit about myself.</p><p>I am originally from Pennsylvania and moved to Florida with my husband 20 years ago. I entered the social services arena while still pursuing an undergrad in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and recognized quickly that serving children and families would be a collision of passion and career for my future. Upon moving to Florida, within a year I reentered the social service arena again, right after privatization and started working within a local Case Management Organization. I was within this arena for nine years working within in-home services, out of home, foster care, licensing and adoption.  My next role was working within Juvenile Justice reform and re-entry to prevent recidivism for six years and then returned to the adoption world working as an Executive Director focusing on adoption, preventative services, unaccompanied minors, and refugee resettlement for three years. </p><p>Throughout my career, there has been one constant, and that has been my passion for helping at risk families.</p><p>I am eager to bring this passion and experience to Boys Town Central Florida. Though I am new to Boys Town, I am not new to the community, the work of serving the vulnerable, nor results driven leadership. </p><p>I can say with certainty that I am where I am meant to be. Within my first week at Boys Town I have met many staff that share this passion of helping and serving others. I am looking forward to the future of Boys Town Central Florida and am grateful for the amazing roots that are planted at our campus. </p><p>I'm excited to meet each of you and have an opportunity to listen to your Boys Town stories as well. </p><p>Cheerfully,<br></p><p> <img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/A-letter-from-our-new-Executive-Director/Laurie-Stern-signature.jpg" alt="Laurie-Stern-signature.jpg" style="margin:0px;width:160px;height:114px;" /> <br> ​Laurie Stern, MPA<br><span style="background-color:transparent;">Boys Town Central Florida Executive Director​</span><span style="background-color:transparent;">​</span></p>2021-11-18T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Laurie Stern" src="/locations/north-florida/PublishingImages/Laurie-Stern.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Central Florida Celebrates Recent Graduates Town Central Florida Celebrates Recent Graduates<p>Boys Town Central Florida is celebrating the recent high school graduation of three youth – Isaac, Christopher, and Alijah. </p><p>Christopher graduated on May 19 from Oviedo High School with plans to become either a cosmetologist or phlebotomist. Angela Turner, Christopher's Family-Teacher said, "My favorite memory with us was when Christopher was able to bring his grades up from all F's to all A's. We kept him motivated and determined to graduate in 2021 instead of 2022."</p><p>Isaac, who was also supposed to graduate on May 19, completed his coursework and assignments early to graduate at the end of April. Isaac's plans after graduation are to move back home and live with his sister while he attends school to become a welder. "My favorite memories with Isaac were always making sure he worked on his anger control and when he got hired at McDonald's for his first job," said Angela, who was also Isaac's Family Teacher. </p><p>Alijah recently received his GED and is looking to attend classes at Seminole State College in Florida. He is also continuing his job at Wendy's where he is training for a shift manager position. "My favorite thing about Alijah that we love is his personality, humor, and generosity that he brings to our home," said Brooke Williams, Alijah's Family Teacher. "He is always looking out for others and seeking opportunities to better himself."</p><p>Boys Town is very proud of these three graduates and the hard work they put in daily. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for these Christopher, Isaac and Alijah! </p>2021-06-11T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Central Florida" src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bt-logo-cefla-page2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Because of you, Boys Town Central Florida saw a lot of GOOD in 2020 of you, Boys Town Central Florida saw a lot of GOOD in 2020<p>In these times of crisis, we stand together to serve. Despite a trying year…Because of you, we still saw a lot of GOOD in 2020. We are so grateful for our community partners, friends and supporters in Central Florida. We wouldn't have these incredible success stories to share if it wasn't for you. Thank you!</p><div class="columns article-grid"><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Following-Her-Dream.aspx"> <img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/white-coat-2a.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /><span class="article-title">Following Her Dream <span> </span></span></a></div><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-Stands-for-Racial-Equality.aspx"> <img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Flanagan_with_Boys_1942_682-rollup.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /><span class="article-title">Boys Town Stands for Racial Equality <span> </span></span></a></div><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-Youth-Receive-New-Beds-from-TempurSealy.aspx"> <img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/youth-received-mattress-donation.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /><span class="article-title">Boys Town Youth Receive New Beds from TempurSealy<span> </span></span></a></div></div>2020-11-13T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Youth Receive New Beds from TempurSealy Town Youth Receive New Beds from TempurSealy<p>Boys Town North Florida recently received a delivery of 31 twin mattresses, 7 queen mattresses and 1 king foundation thanks to a generous donation from TempurSealy.</p><p>TempurSealy has partnered with Boys Town since 2012 and has provided hundreds of beds to multiple Boys Town sites, including the Boys Town summer vacation camp at Lake Okoboji.</p><p>Nebraska, Washington D.C., and Central Florida also received mattress deliveries this year, with Louisiana and Rhode Island scheduled to receive beds in the Fall.</p><p>Boys Town is very appreciative for this continuous partnership! Our youth are so grateful to have new mattresses and Boys Town appreciates the care and support TempurSealy has provided our boys and girls through the years. </p>2020-08-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Youth recieved Mattress donation" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/youth-received-mattress-donation.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Stands for Racial Equality Town Stands for Racial Equality<p>Nearly a century ago, Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan spoke these profound words: </p><p>" I … see danger for all in an ideology which discriminates against anyone politically or economically because he or she was born into the 'wrong' race, has skin of the 'wrong' color, or worships at the 'wrong' altar."</p><p>Today, America is at a crossroads. The dangerous ideology of racism Father Flanagan described then continues to exist today. </p><p>At Boys Town, we share the sadness of so many mourning the senseless killings due to violence and racism. We also share the anger that is sweeping our nation as we unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, hatred, and injustice that tear at the seams of our society.</p><p>When Father Flanagan opened his first Home for Boys in 1917, he welcomed kids of every race, color, and creed. But his efforts to be inclusive and compassionate in his care of children went far beyond creating a place where they could grow and thrive. Father Flanagan also recognized and rejected the laws and customs that enshrined and reinforced institutional racism. He passionately attacked those unfair laws and practices, shining a spotlight on prejudice and injustice, and using Boys Town as a model for the incredible possibilities that existed when people of all colors lived, worked, and played side by side in mutual respect and equality.</p><p><strong>Boys Town has never wavered from the principles on which it was founded. As a passionate advocate of positive social change, we firmly stand with those individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to the cause of racial equality and justice, and strongly support their efforts to bring about lasting, significant change. </strong><strong> </strong></p><p>We have recognized since our formation that it is not enough to simply avoid racist behavior as individuals. We all must work together proactively to create a more just, a more peaceful, and a more equitable society. We all must live by the values of diversity and inclusion more deeply in the days, months, and years to come. We all must strive to re-create a society in which everyone feels that they belong, that they matter, and that they are respected for who they are.     </p><p>People have rediscovered their voice, and their pain and anger are being felt and heard. Boys Town adds its voice to this rising chorus with the fervent hope that racism, injustice, and prejudice can finally be vanquished.     </p><p>God's Blessings,</p><p>Father Steven E. Boes<br>President and National Executive Director, Boys Town</p>2020-06-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Father Flanagan" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Flanagan_with_Boys_1942_682-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Following Her Dream Her Dream<p>​Safiya Thompson left Boys Town Central Florida in 2012, but her commitment to someday give back to the site as she pursues her dream of becoming a doctor is stronger than ever. <br></p><p>“I will give back to Boys Town as they have given so much to me and my family," she said. “I am grateful to have such a great connection to my Boys Town family." </p><p>Safiya spent about a year as a Boys Town Central Florida youth before graduating from high school and attending the University of Central Florida. At Boys Town, she learned skills like being assertive, dealing with frustration, increasing her self-esteem and dealing with conflict, all of which prepared her for the challenges she faced in continuing her education and eventually entering medical school. </p><p>Now in her second year of medical school in Antiqua, she will return to the United States to complete a practicum and begin practicing after taking the medical exam. During her last visit to the Central Florida campus, she gave an update on her journey. </p><p>“This is by far one of the hardest things that I have had to do, but I know I have what it takes, so I will not give up until I realize my dream."<br></p><p>Safiya's story is a great example of how Boys Town Central Florida gives young people the life-changing skills and tools they need to find success and make their dreams a reality. <br></p> <p align="center"> <img src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/white-coat-photo.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:480px;height:326px;" /> <br> </p>2020-02-28T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/white-coat-2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent