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Boys Town's Mission Resonates with Second Lady Karen Pence

Second Lady Karen Pence is welcomed by Boys Town youth to the village during her visit on August 20, 2020.

Over the years, the Village of Boys Town has seen many esteemed visitors​. No matter who they are or where they come from, they all share at least one thing in common: a desire to help improve the way America cares for children and families.

On Thursday, August 20, Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to the Boys Town Home Campus to share the same sentiment.

Together with Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon and Mrs. Angie Bacon, Mrs. Pence was greeted by Boys Town's Mayor, Hazakiah Williams, and Vice Mayor, Hailey Holm, to join what has been a historic honor by becoming an honorary citizen of Boys Town.

After a tour of the Boys Town Hall of History, Mrs. Pence and the Bacons sat down for a roundtable with Boys Town leadership to learn more about Boys Town's array of life-changing youth care and healthcare services that allow children and families to get the right kind of care, at the right time, in the right way.

“Boys Town has a broad scope of services," Barb Volmer, Executive Vice President of Youth Care at Boys Town, said during the roundtable. “We are able to help kids and families at all levels of need."

“Thank you for what you are doing," Mrs. Pence replied.​

As Second Lady, Mrs. Pence has been a strong advocate for the importance of addressing veteran suicide prevention. During the roundtable, Mrs. Pence was particularly interested and impressed to learn more about the Boys Town National Hotline®, and how the specially trained counselors, on call 24/7, answer crisis calls from children, including those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“We feel that if there is a silver lining to COVID, it may be the opportunity to talk about mental health and start talking about suicide; that if you are having suicidal thoughts, reach out to somebody," Mrs. Pence said.

Mrs. Pence is an educator and award-winning watercolor artist. As Second Lady, Mrs. Pence also works to bring attention to art therapy and wants to help people understand that it is an option for various conditions, illnesses and life experiences; and to encourage young people to go into the profession. During the roundtable, Mrs Pence learned how art therapy is being used at Boys Town as part of a larger model of care that is based on years of research and decades of success helping children and families heal and grow in body, mind and spirit. 

“I'm so glad we came here," Mrs. Pence said of the visit. “I think your story is one we want to tell, everywhere we go."

Read the White House Briefing on the visit