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BT Senior Spotlight: Dwayne and Darius’ story Senior Spotlight: Dwayne and Darius’ story<p>In the midst of these unprecedented and challenging times, Boys Town Louisiana is proud to shine a light on a local New Orleans' family's recent success. While their story is only one of many, their journey inspires us and reminds us of the importance of Father Flanagan's vision to save children and heal families: <em>“There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking."</em></p><p>Years from now, the John F. Kennedy High School Class of 2020 will remember virtual classes and drive-by celebrations instead of prom and traditional commencement ceremonies. They will undoubtedly have bittersweet memories of their interrupted senior year. Dwayne and Darius are no exception. But for them, they're grateful to finish high school at all.</p><p> <strong>Just last year, Dwayne had anger issues. He and Darius were getting detention after detention. They were caught in the juvenile justice system. And Mom didn't know what to do.</strong></p><p>Their family was referred to Boys Town Louisiana's In-Home Family Services program, where Brandon, a Boys Town consultant, helped them set family goals, including getting the twins back on track to graduate. Dwayne and Darius were falling behind in some classes and struggled with discipline in school, often getting detentions and suspensions.</p><p>With Boys Town's parenting guidance, Mom focused on keeping them in school and out of trouble. He also worked individually with Dwayne and Darius to develop coping strategies for emotions they were struggling with as teens, like anger, frustration and boredom.</p><p> <strong><em>When asked what made the difference, Darius shared that he and his brother were held accountable: “Brandon came and stuck with us…you never knew when he was going to show up and check in on us. And he was always there for us."</em></strong></p><p>In addition, Brandon advocated to Boys Town and contacted Kennedy alumni to raise funds and cover Dwayne and Darius' High School Senior Funds, which included two caps and gowns, diplomas, and other class of 2020 memorabilia.</p><p>After progressing to a point where they had a stronger family foundation at home, they transitioned from In-Home Family Services to Care Coordination, a diversion and prevention program which works with youth who have been previously involved in the juvenile justice program to reduce recidivism.</p><p>Their Boys Town consultant, Tyisha, helped them set goals to graduate and to work on their behavior issues in school. She also helped them navigate some sibling rivalry they were experiencing at home. “They work well together and Dwayne motivates Darius to do better, especially in school," explained Tyisha.</p><p>With Boys Town's help and encouraging one another, the two young men persevered and will receive their high school diplomas this summer.</p><p>With Boys Town's help and encouraging one another, the two young men persevered and will receive their high school diplomas this summer.</p><p>This story demonstrates how Boys Town's community support services wrap around the whole family, while giving individual attention and consultation to each parent and child. It shows how Boys Town's programs adapt to a family's needs as it progresses more to independence. And most importantly, it illustrates that the words of our founder, Father Flanagan, ring true today: <em>“There is nothing the matter with our growing boys that love, proper training and guidance will not remedy."</em></p><p>More than ever, it is important to reflect on things for which we are grateful.  Your support for Boys Town Louisiana makes a powerful difference in the lives of the children and families we serve, like Dwayne and Darius. Thank you for helping families become stronger and more independent.</p>​<br>2020-07-02T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Congratulations, Dwayne and Darius!" src="/locations/louisiana/news-and-events/PublishingImages/LA-dwayne-and-darius.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Statement from Boys Town Louisiana on Racial Justice Movement from Boys Town Louisiana on Racial Justice Movement<p>​​​While racial equity rests at the core of who we are and what we do; we live in a society in which our youth are far too often treated differently based upon the color of their skin. Black lives matter.</p><p>As an organization, Boys Town Louisiana stands up against systemic racism.</p><p>We condemn racial inequity, and we do not accept our current programs, systems and policies are the very best that we can do. We can and will do better and this includes challenging our own beliefs, values and constructs.</p><p>Our youth deserve better and they will be at the center of how we evolve to become an explicitly anti-racist organization.</p><h2>Where We Stand:</h2><p>Boys Town's founder, Father Edward Flanagan, recognized and rejected laws and customs enshrining racism. From the very beginning, Boys Town was created as a place for kids of every race, color and creed. Here in Louisiana, Boys Town was established to meet the needs of a community that is predominately African American. Likewise, our team of more than 60 dedicated staff largely reflects those we serve.</p><p>We have always leveraged our culture so that our services meet children and families where they are, no matter the circumstance. We are proud that our residential and community programs give opportunity to children and families most affected by inequity, but we know there is much more work to be done. Our work must be more intentional and consider the full context and dynamics of racism, if we want to fully prepare our youth - particularly our African American youth - to successfully transition into adulthood.</p><p>We want to fully embody our mission of changing the way America cares for all its children and families.</p><h2>Our Commitment:</h2><p>To listen more, amplifying the black voices within our community and to support our children and families as they navigate through these difficult times.</p><h2>What We Are Doing:</h2><p>Locally and nationally, Boys Town is working to identify appropriate strategies to ensure our organization shifts to implement positive change. Four areas of focus include:</p><ul><li> <em>Strategic Youth and Family Engagement:</em> Deepening how we engage youth and families to understand lived experiences and solutions to advance racial equity and justice; and provide transparent accountability.</li><li><em style="background-color:transparent;">Evaluating Program Model:</em> Assessing program models to understand the impact of programming in advancing racial equity and providing culturally relevant services; and utilizing findings to meaningfully transform programs.</li><li><em>Workforce Diversity:</em> Utilize current workforce baselines to set goals to increase racial diversity at the board and staff level to include top leadership.</li><li><em>Cultural Transformation:</em> Creating systems, practices, resources and forums to learn and lead together.</li></ul><h2>Call to Action:</h2><p>Please join us in our stand against racism.</p><p>We are committed to be the change we wish to see in the world, but we know that change is a collective effort. We will strengthen our New Orleans community in unimaginable ways as we re-commit to growth, compassion and action.</p><p>Thank you for being our partner.</p>​<br>2020-06-29T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Hotline Hosts Bellevue East Hope Squad for “Talent Tour” Hosts Bellevue East Hope Squad for “Talent Tour”<p>​Recently, 10 students from the Bellevue East High School Hope Squad and four faculty members had the opportunity to visit Boys Town Home Campus for a career-themed tour.<br></p><p>The Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that seeks to reduce self-destructive behavior and youth suicide by training, building, and creating change in schools and communities. Hanaa, a junior at Bellevue East High School, and a member of the Hope Squad defined the Hope Squad as "a group of middle or high school kids that are there as a support system for students who need an outlet. They are there to listen to their peers and be aware of warning signs to look out for." </p><p> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour/hotline-1.jpg" alt="hotline-1.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:236px;" />Leila Tatby, Recruiting Outreach Partner, led the students and faculty in different activities and tours throughout the day. "When I first found out about the Hope Squad, I immediately thought about the work we do at Boys Town, specifically with the Hotline," said Tatby. "These students are going out of their way to help other young people in their time of need. To see their passion for what the Hope Squad does and show them that this is something they can continue to do after high school, and even make a career out of it, was really special." </p><p> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour/hotline-2.jpeg" alt="hotline-2.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:225px;" />To kick off the day, the students met at the Headquarters building where they learned about the different programs that Boys Town has to offer as well as the different Boys Town locations. The students then participated in the 'He Ain't Heavy' activity. They had to find people in the room that could tie a tie, drive a car, bake a cake, and so forth. The purpose of this activity was to show that we all must be carried at some point or need help with something, and it tied back to the mission of Boys Town, that we are an organization that helps people. </p><p> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour/hotline-3.jpeg" alt="hotline-4.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:225px;" />After the tour of Headquarters, the students and faculty then toured the Boys Town National Hotline. At the Hotline, the Hope Squad got a peek at the new Relaxation Room, where counselors can go and relax after a difficult call, and learned that support is available through phone, text, email, or chat. "We hope that by explaining the Boys Town National Hotline mission and reviewing the Your Life Your Voice website services, and by taking a walk through our dynamic call room, that we delivered a clear message to the Bellevue East Hope Squad that the Hotline is here to provide assistance to any teen that may be struggling," said Linda McGuire, Boys Town National Hotline Supervisor. "We hope that this up close and personal visit equipped these student leaders with the information and confidence they need to point fellow students to our service." </p><p> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour/hotline-4.jpeg" alt="hotline-4.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:225px;" />To finish off the day, the Hope Squad toured the Hall of History, where they learned where Boys Town started and where we are today as an organization. "I learned that there is a lot more to Boys Town than what meets the eye, and that this area holds such a tight-knit and strong community," said Hanaa. "It made me excited for what the future holds and learning about others' stories was inspiring to me."</p>​<br>2020-06-26T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Hotline" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour/hotline-4.jpeg" 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
Boys Town Louisiana Holiday Events Town Louisiana Holiday Events<p>​​Boys Town Louisiana has had a very busy holiday season. It started on December 7 with two different events. The first event was a holiday breakfast hosted by Fore! Kids Foundation. The breakfast included coffee and donuts and 8 families in the In-Home Family Services program received $100 gift cards to Barnes and Noble. In the evening, Boys Town Louisiana hosted their Christmas Tree Lighting at their Intervention and Assessment facility (I&A). Youth involved in Family Homes and I&A attended the tree lighting as well as staff, Board Members, and donors. Everyone enjoyed holiday treats and delicious Louisiana food (red beans and rice, fried chicken, and catfish). </p><p>On December 14, The First District Missionary Baptist Association Young People's Department hosted a Christmas social for the youth in Family Homes and I&A. There were scripture readings, Christmas carols, and games and each young man at the event received a gift. December 21 was also a fun-filled day for Boys Town Louisiana as Harold Koretzky hosted an annual Christmas lunch for the youth residing in three of the Family Homes.</p><p>Along with these events, every December Board Member Cliff Buller and the St. Catherine of Siena Women's Club treat Boys Town Louisiana with special items. Cliff Buller teams up with Cub Scout Troop 317 to collect watches, wallets, and sports items to give to youth in Family Homes and I&A program for Christmas. The St. Catherine of Siena Women's Club delivers dinners to each of the three Family Homes twice a month. In December, they give each of the youth a gift certificate to the Lakeside Mall so they can pick out a gift for Christmas. <br></p>2020-01-24T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Troop Donation" src="/locations/louisiana/PublishingImages/LA-Troop-Donation.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Troop Donation" height="450" src="/locations/louisiana/PublishingImages/LA-Troop-Donation.jpg" width="450" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Louisiana Youth Earn Shoe Shopping Spree Town Louisiana Youth Earn Shoe Shopping Spree<p>​​On November 5, 11 youth involved in the Family Home program at Boys Town Louisiana earned the opportunity to go shoe shopping with CJ Gardner-Johnson, a safety for the New Orleans Saints.<br></p><p>Earlier this year, CJ brought pizza over for dinner to get to know the youth in one of the Family Homes. He wanted to build a relationship with them and get to know their plans for their future careers. He told them that if they keep up the good behavior and clean rooms, they would receive an award. They had no idea this reward would be shoe shopping.</p><p>Each child was able to pick out a new pair of shoes for keeping their promise of good behavior and consistently clean rooms. They went to Footlocker at Lakeside Shopping Center and browsed through their wide selection of shoes until they found the perfect pair.</p><p>CJ Gardner-Johnson just finished his first season with the Saints. He was a fourth-round pick from the University of Florida. CJ was inspired to help kids in the foster care system because of his mom and her hard work of providing same homes for foster kids and helping them achieve success despite their challenges in the system.</p><p>When CJ signed with the New Orleans Saints, he knew he wanted to help his new community. He found Boys Town Louisiana and related to the children and families they serve because he is a new dad himself and just a few years older than some of the young men at Boys Town.</p><p>CJ Gardner-Johnson continued to show support to Boys Town Louisiana throughout the NFL season. On December 8, NFL players around the league took part in the 'My Cause, My Cleats' campaign. This event allowed players to express their commitment to the causes that are important to them. CJ's cleats were designed for Boys Town Louisiana and their community partner, Raintree Children and Family Services. The cleats included names of young men and women residing within these two communities.</p><p>Boys Town Louisiana is thankful for this partnership with CJ Gardner-Johnson and all he is doing to help the community. The Family Home program hope to go to a Saints game to see CJ play in person and cheer him on!</p>2020-01-23T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Shoe shopping" src="/what-we-do/PublishingImages/Shoe-Shopping-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="" height="723" src="/what-we-do/PublishingImages/Shoe-Shopping.jpg" width="435" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
You made great things happen in 2019!!-.aspxYou made great things happen in 2019!<p>Thanks to our donors and friends, Boys Town Louisiana was able to make a hugely positive impact in the lives of children and families who sought help from us in 2019.​ A few highlights:</p><ul><li>Nearly <strong>100</strong> families struggling with children's behavioral issues were provided life-changing care through our In-Home Family Services Program. </li><li>Almost <strong>300</strong> families received intensive case management from our Care Coordination Services s to help them navigate and access complicated mental health, juvenile justice, education, and other child-welfare systems. </li><li>More than <strong>330</strong> infants and toddlers (and their families) were provided comprehensive early childhood education programming and parenting support<strong>. 92%</strong> of the children were meeting or exceeding school readiness in Literacy and Language Arts. </li><li>Over <strong>700</strong> individuals from Louisiana and Mississippi received counseling support from The Boys Town National Hotline. This included preventing more than <strong>40</strong> possible suicides.</li><li>More than <strong>35</strong> young men lived in our Family Home Program, receiving compassionate care and learning social and independent living-skills to help them succeed. </li></ul><p>To learn more, read our full <a href="/locations/louisiana/news-and-events/Documents/1807-132-03bLouisiana2019ImpactStatement.pdf">2019 Louisiana Impact Report</a>.</p><p> <strong>Our donors made great things happen!</strong></p><p>To help save even more kids and change more lives in 2020, <a href="" target="_blank">set up a monthly donation</a> today! </p>2020-01-15T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent