Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

South Omaha Family Shows the Power of Courage and Resilience

His mother murdered. His father jailed. His future endangered. Henry had every reason to feel angry and confused because tragedy and trauma were seemingly inescapable.

When he was very young, Henry's family was forced to flee deadly violence in their native El Salvador. The family was granted asylum in the United States, and Henry moved into the  home of his aunt, Bea.

Bea was doing her best to raise her own children, working two jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. She loved her nephew but was quickly overwhelmed by his erratic behaviors, angry outbursts and academic failures.

Fortunately, a referral to Boys Town Nebraska from Henry's school, Marrs Middle School, provided Bea a much-needed lifeline. A Boys Town Family Consultant began working with Bea and Henry in their home. Addressing Henry's behavioral issues – verbal aggression, negative interactions with adults and classmates, school absences, low grades and self-harm – was priority number one.

Through patience, persistence and specific skill teaching, the Boys Town Consultant provided Henry with the tools he needed to experience success. Henry learned how to express his feelings appropriately, ask for help, deal with frustration and use problem-solving skills to channel his feelings in healthier, more helpful ways instead of blindly acting out. The Consultant also taught Bea parenting skills, including how to correct misbehaviors, set appropriate boundaries and use praise to reinforce and encourage her children's positive behaviors.

While the family made significant and steady progress, there were setbacks. At one point, Henry relapsed into old habits and landed in juvenile detention. The situation could have derailed the family, but it turned into a blessing. The Consultant was able to team up with Henry's probation officer, school counselors and service providers from South Omaha's Latino Center of the Midlands. Working together, they were able to provide additional help and much-needed encouragement to the family.

The collaboration paid off. Henry successfully returned home and has since stayed out of trouble. He's regularly attending school, studying hard and taking control of his emotions and his life. Bea, too, found a renewed sense of hope and optimism. With the Consultant's help, she moved her family into more affordable housing which allowed Bea to reduce her work hours and have more time to be an engaged parent. In addition, an anonymous angel gifted a vehicle to the family. They now enjoy the benefits of reliable transportation and greater freedom.

Demonstrating remarkable courage and resiliency, Bea and Henry worked hard to improve themselves and their relationships. Now, their futures have never looked brighter.​