Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events




VIRTUAL Blue Water Bash July 20 - 25 Blue Water Bash July 20 - 25<p><img src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Thank-you-card-image.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​Nothing is more important than your health and safety and the need to protect those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus. To minimize health risks to our guests, employees, and the children and families we serve, the 2020 Boys Town Blue Water Bash, scheduled for July 25, has been moved to a </span><strong style="background-color:transparent;">virtual event, including an online silent auction.</strong></p><p>Even though the camp was generously donated to Boys Town, we continue to rely on financial resources to operate it and pay for food, supplies, upgrades and equipment.</p><p>We invite you to participate in an <span style="text-decoration:underline;"> <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>online auction</strong></a></span> July 20 – 25.<br></p><p>With your help, our youth can have a safe and memorable summer vacation.<br></p><p>We appreciate your understanding and want to thank you for your support of our kids and Boys Town's Okoboji Camp. We hope you will continue that support this year with a donation.​​<br></p>2020-07-25T05:00:00ZEventtext/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
Home Campus Residential Program Earns TFA Accreditation with Excellent Ratings Campus Residential Program Earns TFA Accreditation with Excellent Ratings<p>​T​he Village of Boys Town has always been well-known as a place of miracles of the heart, where the lives of at-risk boys and girls are changed every day through compassionate, high-quality residential care.</p><p>Now, there's even more good news to celebrate about our Home Campus Family Home Program.</p><p>In April, the Teaching-Family Association (TFA) finalized its accreditation of the program after a rigorous five-day review in February. The review included personal observations by a team of four experienced evaluators and interviews with youth and Family-Teachers®. Accreditations occur every three years, and this most recent one continues Boys Town's long-term relationship with TFA.</p><p>The review covered nine technical areas and six Teaching-Family Model elements. In the nine technical areas, Boys Town received perfect or near-perfect scores in eight categories. In the Model elements, Boys Town achieved perfect scores in every area (Teaching, Self-Determination, Relationships, Family-Sensitive Approach, Diversity, Professionalism).</p><p>Evaluators' comments included:</p><ul><li> <em>“Boys Town has phenomenal ratings based on standards."</em></li><li> <em>“We're blown away by the prevalence of excellence at all levels – culture, passion, professionalism."</em></li><li> <em>“There's a culture of excellence."</em></li><li> <em>​“Situations happen, but the difference is how they respond and how it's handled. It's impressive!"</em></li></ul><p>While the evaluation covered a number of program components, the personal side of the care we provide produced the most moving and significant comments. Here's what just of few of our kids told evaluators:</p><ul><li> <em>“I am very blessed."</em></li><li> <em>“They really care."</em></li><li> <em>“They are really good people."</em></li><li> <em>“Our Family-Teachers believe in our resilience."</em></li></ul><p>Comments from our Family-Teachers, like “We don't let kids fail" and “Our kids are invested in their time at Boys Town," mirrored the reflections of our boys and girls and our high scores.</p><p>“Earning this accreditation is a major achievement for our Home Campus," said Angie Powers, Home Campus Executive Director. “The excellent ratings we received validate everything we do and show that implementing an evidence-based, research-proven model of care in a large youth residential setting truly is effective in changing kids' lives and empowering them to find success at home, in school and in life.</p><p>“This is a credit to both our direct-care and support staff across our organization, who put our children first every day while strengthening them in body, mind and spirit. It also reinforces our advocacy efforts to ensure that quality residential care is available for youth who need a more intensive level of care to resolve their challenges."</p><p>With nearly 350 boys and girls living in 60 Family Homes, our Home Campus Family Home Program is one of the largest residential care communities in the country. Boys Town adopted the Teaching-Family Model in 1974, transitioning from a dormitory-style care approach to one that provides therapeutic care for youth in a family-style setting.</p><p>The Teaching-Family Association is an international organization with accredited agencies both in the United States and Canada. TFA was founded in 1975 to provide a framework for the quality of care provided by professionals who use the Teaching-Family Model in services for individuals, children and families.</p><p>The Association's mandate is to accredit member agencies that demonstrate quality programming. TFA recognizes and accredits high-fidelity programs, standardizes useful training and evaluation procedures, supervises program replication and provides annual conferences for sharing new material and program development. It's the only entity in North America that defines and implements standards and procedures related to the quality of treatment and service delivery systems at all organizational levels.</p><p>With over 30 years of studies and results, the Teaching-Family Model is one of the strongest and most studied evidence-based programs available for treatment. The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare recognizes the Teaching-Family Model as having “Promising Research Evidence" and has rated its “Child Welfare System Relevance Level" as High.​​<br><br></p>2020-05-08T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/YC-TFA-Electronic-Billboard-216x576_01.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Schools Transition to In-home Learning Town Schools Transition to In-home Learning<p><em>This article was originally posted on </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em>.</em></p><p><br></p><p>School districts across the country are transitioning to online learning, but the Boys Town Day School is taking a different approach.</p><p>There are 47 homes on Boys Town's campus. Each home has students ranging from fourth grade to seniors in high school.<br><br>“Most of them are three years behind in school and they need the luxury of having a teacher right there for any question that comes up during the school day," said Angie Powers, the executive director of Boys Town's home campus.</p><p>In the current climate, that's difficult. Still, Boys Towns unique platform makes it easier for teachers to have one-on-one time with a teacher.</p><p>Each home on campus has family teachers, which Powers describes as professional parents. Students live with these professional parents and the professional parents' families during the school year.</p><p>With eight or more students in a family across all grade levels, a complete transition to e-learning wasn't a good option. The district adjusted by bringing a teacher to each home.<br><br>“Anything they need help with. Today I've been helping with chemistry," said Theresa Burdick, a Boys Town teacher.</p><p>Burdick will help this group, or family, of students until school can resume, and each home on campus has been assigned a different teacher to help with in home learning.</p><p>“We try to exercise the same person being in there and making them kind of part of their education, their Boys Town home school family," said powers.<br><br>Normally Burdick teaches religion and leadership, now she's helping with everything from math and English to outdoor recreation time.</p><p>“Alliteration, and illusion and metaphor and simile, trying to remember all of that from my high school learning, because I had to help a student work through some of that stuff," said Burdick.</p><p>For the schoolwork Burdick doesn't have a great handle on, she can reach out to other teachers on campus, or other students in the home can help.</p><p>“Some of us are involved in the same classes, so therefore if she doesn't know an answer we can go to them to get that answer," said Kaleb Matheny, a senior at Boys Town High School.</p><p>Matheny says he likes having a teacher in his home, but, as a senior, he's missing out on a lot.</p><p>“A lot of our senior activities were canceled. It's been weird, I'd say weird," Matheny said.</p><p>At-home learning should still help flatten the curve, and Theresa said she thinks Boys Town's system is safe.</p><p>“Within their house they're very quarantined within them self, and I'm quarantined with my kids at my house. There's nowhere else we go between those two places," Burdick said.</p><p>Check out the full story from <a href="$">KETV</a>.​<br></p>2020-04-06T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
School Continues for Students in Boys Town Continues for Students in Boys Town<p><em>​This article was originally posted on​ </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em>.</em><br><br></p><p>Schools throughout the metro are closed because of the COVID-19 threat, for most students that means no more classroom learning with a teacher present, but for one metro area school, it is a little different. The classroom with a teacher still exists.</p><p>School is closed but classes here at Boys Town are still in session.</p><p>All the students here live in one house. As a safety precaution, the teacher comes to the students. This is an example of Boys Town's alternate learning program. Teachers are assigned to one house so students have the same teacher for all of their classes.</p><p>Shelly Bernard is a senior and has plans to attend college, even though this setting is different she's happy to be in class.</p><p>“It's a great way to make sure we're not falling behind on our credits and making sure our grades are still up," said Bernard.</p><p>Kedra Prescott is the teacher for this group of students, Ms. Prescott says the setting is like a classroom because the students can get immediate feedback.</p><p>“To be able to come every day have time to interact with the students see them spend time with them and be able to answer questions," said Prescott.</p><p>The groups are really small, so the students do receive a lot of individual attention, Josh Reed is the mayor of Boys Town, and he says there are some things he misses about the regular classroom setting.</p><p>“We don't get to see our friends a lot but it's definitely better than what most people have. I know some kids just aren't in school," said Reed.</p><p>Not only do the teachers come to the students, but lunch is also delivered, it's a different kind of school day, but it's about as normal as a school day gets in this time of crisis.</p><p>School is in session at individual homes Monday through Thursday and yes they get some time to get out for physical education.</p><p>Check out the full story from <a href="$" target="_blank">​WOWT</a>.​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​</span></p>2020-04-06T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Vida’s Forever Family’s Forever Family<p>​​Two days before Christmas in 2019, Vida received an early gift of a forever family when she was adopted by April and Joey Falk.<br></p><p>Vida had spent three years in Boys Town Nebraska foster homes prior to her adoption. Now 14, she is doing well in school, plays volleyball and just enjoys the everyday activities that go along with being a teenager.</p><p> Boys Town believes every child deserves a happy home and a loving family. For more than 100 years, this principal has driven our mission to change the way American cares for children and families. </p><p> Vida is just one of the hundreds of children every year who find their forever family through Boys Town.​<br></p>2020-02-27T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Vida Adoption" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Vida.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Vida Adoption" height="443" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Vida.jpg" width="400" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town National Hotline Receives Donation from American Legion Town National Hotline Receives Donation from American Legion<p>On Thursday, November 14, the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (ALCWF) presented Boys Town National Hotline with a check for $17,500, the second donation they made last year. The ALCWF awarded the Hotline these funds to reach more people needing help by creating advertisements for sites such as Facebook and Instagram. </p><p>The Boys Town National Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people to call and get help in a time of need. It is staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors and is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). Along with the Hotline phone number, there is also a website called Your Life Your Voice.</p><p>Your Life Your Voice provides kids and families the opportunity to ask their questions via phone, text, chat, or email. There is also a mobile app that works as a mood journal for kids to track their thoughts and feelings. By tracking these, they can identify potential triggers and get tips for dealing with situations. Children can also access free, personal counseling via phone, email, chat, or text on the mobile app. </p><p>The Hotline has also partnered up with Omaha schools to provide a Safe Schools Hotline. This service provides a phone number, available 24/7, for callers to speak anonymously with Hotline Crisis Counselors about concerns, including bullying, depression, suicidal or self-harm thoughts, substance abuse, relationship issues, and violence. Most of the calls are from people concerned about a student after seeing something on social media or hearing thoughts of self-harm or suicide. When they call a counselor about this issue, the counselor can notify the school with information so the at-risk student can get help. This hotline currently serves 52,000 Omaha Public School students in 82 schools as well as Millard, Bellevue, Ralston, Plattsmouth, and Brownell-Talbot school districts.</p><p>Last year, Boys Town National Hotline received 127,000 calls and 23,000 web contacts (emails, chats, and texts). They also had over 950,000 visitors to Your Life Your Voice. </p><p>By using the donation from ALCWF for advertisements on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, more people will find out about the Boys Town National Hotline and reach out when they need help or know of someone who does. Boys Town is very thankful for the generous donation from American Legion Child Welfare Foundation.</p>​ 2020-02-03T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/BTLogo-Home.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent