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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hear Grand Island Supports Boys Town https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Hear-Grand-Island-Supports-Boys-Town.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hear Grand Island Supports Boys Town <p>​​​Come to Railside Plaza for a free outdoor summer concert AND support Boys Town!</p><p>Since 2016 - Hear Grand Island has been rocking Railside Plaza as Mid-NE's premiere outdoor summer concert series. Each concert features three musical acts, representing genres ranging from rock, blues, funk, ska, hip-hop and country. A family-friendly environment, beverage garden, and food trucks... what more could you ask for?! </p><p>Boys Town night will be June 13 and July 15. Be sure to stop by our table and say "Hi!"</p><p>#ARRIVERAILSIDE #HEARGRANDISLAND​</p><p>​<br></p><h3>June 15th and July 13th</h3><h3>Plaza opens at 5 p.m.  •  Music from 7-11 p.m.</h3><h3>224 W 3rd Street  •  Grand Island, Nebraska</h3> ​EventCentral Nebraska;#

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | One girl's journey through foster care focuses on perseverance https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/girls-journey-through-foster-care.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | One girl's journey through foster care focuses on perseverance <p><em></em><a href="http://nebraska.tv/news/local/one-girls-journey-through-foster-care" target="_blank"><em>This article is written by Sydney Edwards. It was posted on Nebraska.tv  Friday, May 18, 2018.</em></a></p><p>With more than five thousand children in the foster care system statewide, one of your friends, classmates or neighbors could be someone who has gone through it.</p><p>But what is it like for children to be in the foster care system?</p><p>In Kloreace Linke's case, her time in foster care was about perseverance and triumph.</p><p>She was 16 years old and the oldest of her four siblings.</p><p>Linke said her and her family were living what was a normal life until it suddenly changed.</p><p>"Five including me were able to be placed in the same home. It was a special placement, a case-specific placement and so we ended up living with one of my high school teachers and her husband and daughter," said Linke.</p><p>At the time of their adoption, Linke's youngest sibling was around 5 years old.</p><p>However, not long after the adoption, Linke's parents won custody back of her siblings.</p><p>But she stayed in her new home and worked on taking care of herself, which is something she said many foster kids need to keep in mind.</p><p>KEARNEY, Neb. — With more than five thousand children in the foster care system statewide, one of your friends, classmates or neighbors could be someone who has gone through it.</p><p>But what is it like for children to be in the foster care system?</p><p>In Kloreace Linke's case, her time in foster care was about perseverance and triumph.</p><p>She was 16 years old and the oldest of her four siblings.</p><p>Linke said her and her family were living what was a normal life until it suddenly changed.</p><p>"Five including me were able to be placed in the same home. It was a special placement, a case-specific placement and so we ended up living with one of my high school teachers and her husband and daughter," said Linke.</p><p>At the time of their adoption, Linke's youngest sibling was around 5 years old.</p><p>However, not long after the adoption, Linke's parents won custody back of her siblings.</p><p>But she stayed in her new home and worked on taking care of herself, which is something she said many foster kids need to keep in mind.</p><p>"Their world is just flipped upside down and to be able to take care of themselves and understand that asking for help for themselves is okay, that they don't always have to be cleaning up everyone else's mess," said Linke.</p><p>Kloreace Linke is now 23 years old with a psychology degree. She said her foster family and the resources she had from the Central Plains Center and PALS helped her get there.</p><p>Now she is on her way to getting an Education Specialist degree in school psychology.</p><p>"I think I found my calling because I'll be able to advocate for maybe kids who are in foster care and do some of that early intervention."</p><p>Kloreace Linke gives another piece of advice to any child in foster care: Find someone you can trust and trust them.</p><p>She said sometimes it is hard to believe someone when they say they will be there, but you can find someone that will help you through it.</p><p>For a look into foster care from the administrative side, you can hear from Department of Health and Human Services and Boys Town representatives <a href="http://nebraska.tv/news/local/a-look-into-the-foster-care-system" target="_blank">here.</a></p>NewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | A look into the foster care system https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/a-look-into-the-foster-care-system.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | A look into the foster care system <p><em></em><a href="http://nebraska.tv/news/local/a-look-into-the-foster-care-system" target="_blank">This article is writte by Sydney Edwards. It was posted on Nebraska.tv  Friday, May 18, 2018.</a></p><p>A system in the United States that brings children to their forever home: Foster care.</p><p>According to the Department of Health and Human Services, foster care affects over 500 children in central Nebraska alone.</p><p>Deana Peterson with the Department of Health and Human Services said the goal of placing a child in foster care is to make it as easy as possible for the child.</p><p>That means finding a new family for the child is not their first choice.</p><p>Peterson told NTV News that they first look for family members, teachers or friends in the community to take children in.</p><p>"We try to keep the kids in their same school district if at all possible, same doctors, day cares, those sort of thing's so that they're not having everything in their life change," said Peterson.</p><p>Peterson said she notices the need for foster parents even more when she sees how many older children are still without a home to call their own.</p><p>Fannye Placke with the Grand Island Boys Town told NTV News that becoming a foster parent might be easier than you think.</p><p>"So as far as becoming a foster parent, I mean really anyone who has space... Anyone who has time and I mean really, the heart for children. Really anyone can be a foster parent," said Placke.</p><p>Placke said it is a case-by-case basis, but if the backgrounds check, checks out, there are just a few other important steps one needs to take.</p><p>If you are interested in hearing more about foster care and adoption, you can check out the McPherson family's story.</p>NewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hilltop Mall, Boys Town creating exhibit for child abuse prevention https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-creating-exhibit-for-child-abuse-prevention-.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hilltop Mall, Boys Town creating exhibit for child abuse prevention <p> <em>​​​This article was published March 31, 2018 at <a href="http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/business/hilltop-mall-boys-town-creating-exhibit-for-child-abuse-prevention/article_08be67fa-349f-11e8-b44d-97f00704d56d.html">kearneyhub.com</a></em></p>​ <p>April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Hilltop Mall and Boys Town are creating an exhibit to highlight the 100th-year anniversary of Boys Town and to draw attention to the services available in central Nebraska.</p><p>The exhibit will remain in the space next to J.C. Penny for the duration of April.</p><p>Over 700 children from Central Nebraska were served by Boys Town last year. Boys Town wants parents to know that help is available.</p>News<img alt="Mall Exhibit" src="/news/PublishingImages/Central-Nebraska-April-Mall-Exhibit-.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | G.I. Boys Town officials talk about past, present, future of facility https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/bt-officials-talk-about-past-present-future-of-facility.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | G.I. Boys Town officials talk about past, present, future of facility <p> <em></em><a href="http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/g-i-boys-town-officials-talk-about-past-present-future/article_1bdc3622-fb20-11e7-9419-efb7ca191b59.html"><em>This article is written by Austin Koeller. It was posted on the independent.com January 16, 2018. </em></a></p><p>In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan borrowed $90 to rent a boarding house on the corner of 25th and Dodge in Omaha. Now, more than 100 years later, Megan Andrews, senior director of program operations at Grand Island Boys Town, said Boys Town is "not just an orphanage."</p><p>Andrews spoke about the shelter's operations, its history and its future goals during a presentation to the Grand Island Noon Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon.</p><p>Sometimes, Andrews said, people tend to think the Grand Island Boys Town shelter is a detention center, which she said is not true.</p><p>"It is truly a homestyle environment," she said. "We also eat meals as a family. The family-style environment is really important. We eat together and we pray together. The kids have self-government meetings where they have make decisions as a group for themselves.</p><p>"It is a good environment for these kids to get some of the help they need."</p><p>Andrews said Grand Island Boys Town does not just take in juvenile justice kids, but also serves Grand Island families "privately." She said if a parent is struggling with their children, but do not feel law enforcement or Health and Human Services is warranted, they can call Boys Town and place children at their facility for a period of time.</p><p>"We want to serve kids where their needs are," Andrews said. "We do not believe the answer is just taking them out of their homes and putting them in our family homes or shelters. Sometimes, we can prevent that from happening if we reach them earlier."</p><p>Andrews added the Grand Island Boys Town shelter is the only Boys Town shelter in the state between Scottsbluff and Lincoln.</p><p>Andrews and Stan Kontogiannis, regional major gifts officer, also told Rotarians in attendance about its planned kitchen renovation. According to a document provided at the Rotary meeting, the kitchen renovation project consists of repairing the floor and sub-floor, cabinets, counters and labor costs.</p><p>In addition to the work required for kitchen renovation, Grand Island Boys Town also plans to replace a stove, a sterilizer, lighting, blinds and a roll-up counter door. The total fundraising goal for the project is $100,000. Kontogiannis said Boys Town has raised about $30,000 since the fundraising campaign kicked off in the second half of 2017.</p><p>"It is the original kitchen from 1991 when our facility was built. So it has been used constantly for about 27 years," Andrews said. "I did some math to figure out how many kids have been in and out and we used to serve about 300 kids per year. With all these kids, we've served over 500,000 meals.</p><p>"When you think about the wear and tear your own kitchen has with kids — for us, 12 to 18 teenagers at a time — it is past due for a remodel."</p><p>Kontogiannis asked Rotarians in attendance to donate funds to the kitchen renovation fundraising campaign. He told them the project is about more than just a floor and a kitchen.</p><p>"This is about kids. When you invest in kids today, you are saving your money and lives tomorrow," Kontogiannis said. "The physical structure is something we need to address. For 27 years, we served so many meals and so many individuals coming through the shelter."</p><p>Kontogiannis added that anyone interested in donating to Grand Island Boys Town's kitchen renovation project is encouraged to call his office at (402) 498-7979. He said the project has received donations from the Grand Island Community Foundation and TOBA Inc.</p><p>Andrews said the kitchen renovation project is expected to be completed this fall.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/Stan.jpg" title="Photo copyright: Independent/Barret Stinson"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/Megan2.jpg" title="Photo copyright: Independent/Barret Stinson"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/Stan2.jpg" title="Photo copyright: Independent/Barret Stinson"> </a> </div>News<img alt="Photo copyright: Independent/Barret Stinson" src="/news/PublishingImages/Megan.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town offers several programs to help kids, families in the community https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-offers-several-programs-to-help-kids-families-in-the-community.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town offers several programs to help kids, families in the community <p><em>This article is written by Harold Reutter of the Grand Island Independent. It was posted on <a href="http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/boys-town-offers-several-programs-to-help-kids-families-in/article_7f40f556-a191-11e7-be69-8bd947314b58.html">theindependent.com</a> </em><em>on September 24, 2017.</em> </p><p>Boys Town Grand Island has been in the community since 1989, serving simultaneously as a very high-visibility facility because of its location at 3230 Wildwood Road along Highway 281 south of Grand Island and as a low-key member of the community because relatively few people actually go into that residential treatment center.</p><p>"We've added several programs over the years to meet kids and families wherever they're at," said Megan Andrews, site operations director.</p><p>Boys Town programs in Omaha and locally include:</p><p><strong>Psychiatric residential treatment center:</strong> This is Boys Town's highest level of care and also the most restrictive level of care. The facility is located in Omaha, which is the only place where those services are offered. It is intended to serve youth ages 5 to 18 who have more several behavioral and mental health problems.</p><p><strong>Intervention and assessment program:</strong> This program is offered in the shelter on the east side of Highway 281 south of Grand Island. The average length of stay for a young person was 21 days for the year 2016, although there is a wide variety depending on the young person. Most youth are placed at the shelter by juvenile probation, although private placement is also accepted.</p><p>If parents are having difficulties and are not sure what to do, they can place their child at the shelter for a week until treatment options can be devised. The shelter includes a PASS program for Positive Alternatives to School Suspensions. The shelter has an agreement with some area school districts: if a student is suspended, he or she will serve that suspension the intervention and assessment program at the shelter</p><p><strong>Family home programs</strong> are the third-highest level and third-most restrictive program. Married couples and single adults or parents take in children to live with them as part of the Boys Town Village in Omaha The adults are called family teachers. They usually have six to eight kids living in their homes, with homes designated either for boys or for girls. "The goal is to keep them there at least a year in order to be effective." The system includes support staff who serves as assistant family teachers.</p><p><strong>Foster family services:</strong> This is the next level of care. Boys Town helps train and support the foster home. A consultant is available for these homes 24/7 in case of a crisis. Foster homes are always needed for older children, with some studies show that kids can be difficult to place in foster homes as early as 4, and the older the kids get, the more difficult they are to place. "We're always looking for good quality homes that are going to take older kids."</p><p><strong>Ecological in-home family treatment model:</strong> Children stay in their homes as Boys Town helps family members work through conflicts. Boys Town performs assessments to determine what skills, resources and support the family needs to help them be successful and to keep children at home. The consultant coaches and guides parents "right then and there" as they interact with their children. Parents also work on skills such as interviewing for and getting a job, and managing personal finances. In-home family services have been offered in Grand Island for four years, with Boys Town and University of Nebraska Lincoln doing research to provide evidence of the program's effectiveness. The formal name of the program is the ecological in-home family treatment model.</p><p><strong>Community support services</strong> is the sixth and least-restrictive level of service. Services include a behavioral health clinic in Grand Island, in which families can go in and get assessments or see a therapist in a typical therapy office setting.</p><p>Boys Town also offers an alternative K-12 day school in Duncan that educates about 40 students.</p><p>To celebrate the Boys Town's Centennial, Boys Town Central Nebraska is inviting the public for a special screening of the Oscar-winning movie "Boys Town" on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Grand Theatre, 316 W. 3rd St. The evening begins with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres from 6 to 7 p.m., with live instrumental music. A showing of the 1938 classic, starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney, will follow.</p><p>People will meet Boys Town Central Nebraska staff and local community leaders who are dedicated saving children and healing families. People can have their picture taken with the Best Actor Oscar that Spencer Tracy earned for his performance. Tickets, which are $25, can be purchased at <a href="http://boystown.org/central-nebraska"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">boystown.org/central-nebraska</span></a> or at the Grand Island HyVee.</p><p>People with questions may contact Megan Andrews at (308) 224-3338 or <a href="mailto:megan.andrews@boystown.org"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">megan.andrews@boystown.org</span></a>.</p><img alt="Megan Welch" src="/news/PublishingImages/MeganWelch.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Emily's Story https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/emilys-story.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Emily's Story <p><em>Today, Emily is 20 years old and employed full-time as a waitress in Grand Island, Nebraska. She has plans to start school soon to become a nurse, and her future looks bright.</em><em>  </em></p><p><em>But Emily's journey from adolescence to adulthood was filled with darkness, pain and uncertainty. Here, in her own words, she describes her experiences of loss and loneliness and, finally, with Boys Town Central Nebraska's help, her redemption. </em><em> </em></p><p>This story will make you sad, angry and, in the end, happy. </p><p>I am one of many youth who have had a troubled childhood. That doesn't make me different or special, but it for sure made me stronger. </p><p>At first, my story will seem like it's all over the place. It perfectly reflects how bad my situation was growing up.</p><p>We often take things for granted, especially the ones we love. This is exactly how I was feeling as I stood outside my mom's hospital room with my stepdad as the nurses were calling a code. I was 15 when I unexpectedly lost my mom that day, and I didn't think life could possibly get any worse. </p><p>Before I go on, let me rewind to give you a little background so you'll fully understand my story. </p><p>My biological father and my mother divorced when I was 10. To be honest, it didn't bother me because they fought constantly. </p><p>My mom later met a wonderful man who became a big part our lives. I still had visitations with my biological father until I was 12. But in that two-year span, he also met someone else and my visitations with him became unhealthy and emotionally abusive. So I stopped going to see him.</p><p>Fast forward to that day outside my mom's hospital room. Two things were running through my mind: the unbelievable grief I felt and the dread running through me knowing I was going to have to get in touch with my biological father. </p><p>I called him later that night and told him I wanted to continue living with my stepdad. But I offered to start visitations again. All I got in response were rude and unnecessary comments. The next few weeks were filled with the fear that I would be taken away at my mom's funeral, that there would be more unhealthy visitations and, finally, that a court order would be issued saying I had to live with my biological father. </p><p>All I wanted to do at that time was grieve for my mom. But instead, I was being eaten up by everything else going on around me. I eventually moved in with my biological father, but I only stayed there three days. Then I ran away.</p><p>I was on my own for a month before turning myself in. I became a ward of the state and was placed in the Boys Town shelter in Grand Island as the custody battle between my biological father and my stepdad started. </p><p>When I first got to Boys Town, I was an emotional mess. All I wanted to do was cry all the time. And I wanted to go home, to my real home with my stepdad. The first few days were very hard since I couldn't have any contact with any friends or family. I felt isolated, and I didn't open up to any of the staff. It wasn't that I didn't want to; it was more that I didn't want to break down crying in front of everyone. </p><p>After a couple of weeks, things started to change. I started to grow close to many members of the Boys Town staff. They were very helpful once I was able to talk to them about what I was going through, and they all made special efforts to make a positive difference in any way they could. </p><p>Megan, a supervisor at the shelter, was so kind. She made arrangements so she could personally drive me to the cemetery to visit my mom's grave. And when I had a call with my biological father, Angela, another supervisor, sat with me since I wasn't comfortable talking to him alone. The call was not a positive experience, and Angela later wrote a letter to the court on my behalf. </p><p>To this day, I believe she is the reason I was placed with and eventually adopted by my stepdad, who is now my real dad. Because of her, the courts were able to truly see what a negative environment my biological father would provide if I had to live with him.</p><p>I write this story now so others can understand how wonderful Boys Town is. To be honest, before my two-month stay there, I thought it was a place where terrible juveniles go. I was right about the juvenile part, being that I was one myself. But the only terrible parts are the painful situations that most kids who live at the shelter are going through. </p><p>To the Boys Town Central Nebraska staff, I want to say <em>THANK YOU</em>. I wouldn't be where I am today without you. You really do make a difference.</p><img alt="Emily's Story" height="528" src="/news/PublishingImages/090817_aEmilyphotoCentralNebraskashelterstory.jpg?RenditionID=2" width="288" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-a-beacon-of-hope-for-troubled-youth.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth <p> <em>​​​​​​​This story aired on</em> CBS Sunday Morning a<em>nd was posted on <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boys-town-a-beacon-for-troubled-youth/" target="_blank">cbsnews.com</a> on December 25, 2016.</em></p><p> <em>"There's no place like home." Rarely is that truer than this time of year. Our Christmas Cover Story is all about a very special home for some very needy children, as reported by Tony Dokoupil:</em></p><p>Right near the midpoint of America, ten miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska, there's a town that sits between childhood and whatever comes after.</p><p>"These young people are about to become citizens of the most famous village in the world," said Father Stephen Boes at a swearing-in ceremony.</p><p>In this town, almost every kid is at a crossroads -- and the goal of all the grown-ups here is to help kids leave Boys Town behind.</p><p>"I do solemnly promise … that I will be a good citizen."</p><p>Eighteen-year-old Chase Pruss, from Dodge, Neb., was sworn in here six months ago --  arriving, like a lot of the kids, straight from jail.</p><p>"I took the school safe," he said.  "Just for money. For Beer money. And gas money. And buy cigarettes."</p><p>Two more break-ins followed, and Pruss ended up arrested in front of his bewildered parents. "My mom was crying, my dad was crying," he said.</p><p>He had run through four different schools, stolen and lied.</p><p>And he faced 80 years in prison, ​until a judge helped get him into Boys Town. "I ​​had that mindset of, "I never want to ever ​put myself in the position where I could land myself back in an orange jumpsuit," Pruss said. "I never ​wanted my ​jail ID ​number to say ​who I was."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-in-class.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris (right) in class at Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>Seventeen-year-old Andre Harris came to Boys Town the same way.  Nearly three years ago, back in Amarillo, Texas, he stole a car, and ended up in juvenile detention.</p><p>"I didn't feel like I was gonna amount to anything after that," he told Dokoupil.  </p><p>Frankly, he didn't think he'd amount to much <em>before </em>jail, either. College seemed out of reach. He can't remember hearing someone say they were proud of him.</p><p>Dokoupil said of Boys Town, "More felons per capita here than any town in Nebraska."</p><p>"Probably!" Harris laughed. "But we're all doing our best to change."</p><p>Almost every week here at Boys Town, new boys (and since 1979, new girls, too) are sent by social workers, judges and desperate parents. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting in trouble.</p><p>And Boys Town is their last chance.</p><p>"A lot of people would say they're bad kids," Dokoupil said. "Is that how they see themselves when they get here?"</p><p>"Some of our kids do," replied Tony Jones, one of Boys Town's "family teachers." "They see themselves as, you know, on the bottom of the totem pole."</p><p>And how do they change that mindset? "You show them that this is <em>your</em> decision. This is <em>your</em> life."</p><p>Jones and his wife, Simone, run one of 55 homes on campus. Eight Boys Town children live there like a family, alongside the Jones' three biological kids.</p><p>"Every single young man that has come through my home has now become a part of my family," Jones said.</p><p>This is a large part of what makes Boys Town so powerful; all 360 kids living here have paid Boys Town parents like Tony and Simone.</p><p>"It's a professional, full-time Dad, brother, uncle, cousin -- whatever my boys may need me to be at that particular time in their life, that, then, is who I become for them," Jones said.</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-tony-and-simone-jones-and-family.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Tony Jones and his wife, Simone, and three children share their home with eight Boys Town students. CBS News​</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>He began at Boys Town as a boy himself. He was born to a shattered family in Detroit. "I can recall my brother and I standing at a bus stop, and it was in the dead of winter. And we only had one pair of socks to share between the two us," Jones laughed.</p><p>But then a priest gave the Jones brothers a chance to change their lives at Boys Town. "It was a total transformation," he said.</p><p>Dokoupil asked, "Where do you think you would be if you had said no to Boys Town?"</p><p>"Oh, two places: I would either be incarcerated, or I would be dead."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-father-edward-flanagan.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>The Jones story is typical of a hundred years of stories at Boys Town, which began in 1917 as Father Flanagan's Home for Boys. The most beloved clergyman in America, he created arguably the most famous reform school in the world.</p><p>Of his charges, Father Flanagan said, "His bruised and tortured heart and mind must be nursed back to normal health through kindness."</p><p>You may remember a 1938-Oscar winning movie about the place starring Spencer Tracy. But what you probably don't know is it's a real town, with a real post office and police department.</p><p>At about $65,000 per student per year, Boys Town is comparable to a top private college -- and it's mostly taxpayers footing the bill.</p><p>But taxpayers pay for prisons, too -- more than $39 billion a year nationally. Boys Town says it can help keep those prison cells empty, while nearly doubling the chance that these students will graduate from high school.</p><p>Dokoupil asked Jones, "How do you avoid coming in and being just another person telling them all the things they're doing wrong?"</p><p>"By telling them all the things they're doing right," Jones replied. "That's how you help kids change. It's being able to say, 'Hey, young man, you did a good job this morning getting up.'"</p><p>"It almost sounds like a joke."</p><p>"Well, you know something? That little praise goes a long way."</p><p>That little praise goes all the way back to Father Flanagan's ​founding idea: "There are no bad boys."</p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful … well, the results say otherwise.</p><p>When asked where he would be without Boys Town, Chase Pruss replied, "I'd be in lockup." As did another. </p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful, just listen to the results. Tesharr said, "I've been here for a short amount of time. But since my first day I didn't feel like I was in a place where I couldn't leave. I felt like I was home."</p><p>Of course, the Boys Town way does not work for every child who comes here; there are failures. But for Chase's parents, Dan and Trish, it's been nothing short of a Christmas miracle.</p><p>Dokoupil asked them, "Who was Chase before Boys Town and who is he today?"</p><p>"He was dishonest, disrespectful, a thief," said his mother. "And now he is the Chase that I always wanted him to be."</p><p>For Andre Harris, the change has been no less dramatic since stealing that car. "It's not even the same person," he said.</p><p>And how is he different? "My actions, the way I speak. I've grown up. I've become a young man."</p><p>He's a school leader now … a star on the track team … and he's just found out he's headed to college next year. </p><p>But first, he's headed to Amarillo for the holidays … a place he hasn't seen in nearly three years. It's a place that Boys Town has been preparing him for since the very day he made his grand theft exit: </p><p>It's home.</p><p>"This is my Christmas gift," Robert Harris told Dokoupil. "This is all I wanted!"</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-home-in-amarillo.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris is welcomed by neighbors back home in Amarillo, Texas. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> Central Nebraska;#