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Syracuse Junior High Student Council Keeps 15-Year Boys Town Streak Alive

syracuse donation

For the second consecutive year, COVID-19 kept the Syracuse Junior High Student Council from making its annual Spring trip to Boys Town. But, just like the previous year, that didn't stop the group from keeping its streak alive.

Due to the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, this spring's tour had to be canceled. But while student council sponsor Sallie Agena and her students couldn't be on Home Campus in person, they made sure the part of the visit they felt was very important – a donation to Boys Town – continued.

Over the past 14 years, the Syracuse Junior High Student Council has generously given a total of $6,500 to the Home. This year, Agena delivered a check for $500 to keep the school's streak of supporting Boys Town alive, and it pushed their 15-year total to $7,000.

"It is up to our kids to decide where they want to go for their yearly field trip, and where they want to donate the money they have raised over the school year," Agena said. "Ever since our first visit back in 2007, Boys Town has left an impression on our students. They have learned what Boys Town does for children – children that they have learned are just like them. And, they have learned a lot about the Home. Most importantly, they brought that message back to their classmates and it has created a great feeling for Boys Town."

Over the years, the group would visit a Family Home, Wegner Middle School and the High School, Palrang Field House, the Hall of History, the Headquarters building and Dowd Chapel. A highlight of the tour was a personal meeting and taking a group photo with Father Steven Boes, Boys Town's President and National Executive Director.

This year, Agena wrote a letter to Father Boes and said she and the Syracuse students are excited to see Boys Town's new Education Center in the future.

"Your organization has been nothing but a great giver that has helped countless numbers of children and families by giving them hope for a better future," Agena wrote. "The services provided at Boys Town are valuable and necessary. What an exciting project to ensure that all of your students receive the education they so deserve."

Agena said one thing that always stays with her students is the social skills Boys Town youth learn and use as part of their daily care.

"When every Boys Town child makes eye contact, introduces themselves and shakes your hand, it leaves a lasting impression," she said. "Every year on our ride home, our kids comment on how the Boys Town youth are nothing like they expected. It gives them a special feeling of what is happening on your campus."

Agena said she hopes her group can resume its visits next spring.

"Hopefully, next year the conditions will allow for us to continue this wonderful opportunity for our students," she said.