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30 Years of Serving the Las Vegas Community Years of Serving the Las Vegas Community<p><strong>Dear Community Partners,</strong></p><p>This coming year, 2021, will mark an exciting milestone for Boys Town Nevada as we celebrate 30 years of service to the Las Vegas community. </p><p>As we look back at the past 30 years of supporting children and families, we are beyond grateful for the support the Nevada community has shown along the way. We are proud of what we've accomplished together in the interest of helping local families. Throughout 2021, we will come together to celebrate and recognize many of our leaders, partners, and supporters through the years. </p><p>We will also be looking forward as we strive to continue to serve the many children and families who still need support. That is why we are thrilled to be launching the 30th Anniversary Campaign for Behavioral Change.</p><p>In keeping with our mission, this campaign seeks to support our continued efforts to save children and heal families in Southern Nevada. Over the years, our program focus has grown and evolved to ensure that we are maximizing our resources to keep children safe, families whole, and make our community stronger. We remain committed to serving the communities who need our services most, and to changing the landscape of behavioral health and education in Southern Nevada. </p><p>In recent years our local programs have shifted to take on a prevention and early intervention model, and to be able to impact more children and families each and every year. The LIFT Together program addresses urgent needs among schools, students, and their families.</p><p>Nevada's public schools are consistently ranked near the bottom in state measurement categories by major education-centered news organizations. Of the 73 schools on the Nevada Department of Education's list of underperforming schools, 47 are part of Clark County School District. Those 47 schools serve more than 46,000 students. Educators have the responsibility to improve school performance, but from our experience, we know that stable homes and supportive families are equally important for the success of individual students. Simply put, schools cannot succeed when students' families are failing. </p><p>This is where Boys Town Nevada can help. </p><p>Las Vegas is an amazing city with much to offer, but accessible mental health services hasn't always made the list. The Department of Health & Human Services has designated most of Nevada as a health professional shortage area. There simply are not enough doctors and mental health providers to meet the demand.</p><p>In 2020, with a growing waiting list of three to six months, and more requests for specialized services amidst the coronavirus pandemic, our Behavioral Health Clinic initiated an expansion plan. In our 30th year, we will grow our team of licensed psychologists to serve more youth, and provide a broader scope of diagnostic and treatment services in a landscape that is lacking.</p><p>Each year, child welfare officials in Clark County receive about 10,500 reports of child abuse or neglect, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services. These families are slipping through cracks in the system – cracks that our programs can fill.</p><p>As if these community issues weren't pressing enough, the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic has only exacerbated these issues for many already struggling families. Children have been home from school for months. Stress for many of these families is at an all-time high, with social safety nets and support systems seemingly out of reach. Mental health services, educational assistance, and community support are needed now more than ever. </p><p><strong>In the coming months you will receive more information on our anniversary Campaign for Behavioral Change. We hope you will join us as we work to change the lives of children and families in our community for the next 30 years, and beyond.</strong></p><p><strong>Partners in Change,</strong></p><p>John Etzell</p><p> <img src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Johns-E-Signature.jpg" alt="John Etzell - e-Signature" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p>Executive Director<br>Boys Town Nevada</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Employee Spotlight: April Cruda Spotlight: April Cruda<p>As the demand for imperative services has continued to grow throughout this pandemic, so does Boys Town Nevada's staff.</p><p>This Spring, April Cruda joined Boys Town Nevada as our Graduate Intern. Currently finishing her Master's degree in Public Health at UNLV, April was searching to join an organization and mission that spoke to her passions and career interests. </p><p> “I found passion in doing community work, health promotion, and prevention," April said. “Couple that with my love for kids, and you've got my dream job -- working with children's wellness."</p><p> Starting her new role with Boys Town during quarantine wasn't necessarily easy, but April connected with the work being done by Boys Town Nevada and eagerly jumped in to make an impact at a time when it was most definitely needed.</p><p>“Not to mention," said April, “all of the staff at this organization genuinely cares, and loves what they do, and it shows! There is nothing better than being part of a team that cares about what they do and treats each other well."</p><p>Originally from San Jose, California, April moved to Las Vegas three years ago to begin her master's program at UNLV, which she will complete at the end of 2020. She is also currently working for UNLV and the Southern Nevada Health District to help with COVID response and contact tracing, playing an imperative role in a critical moment in history.</p><p>April works on a variety of projects with Boys Town Nevada, from helping to plan and execute community resource events and fundraising events, to working with our School Support team to prepare what will surely be another unprecedented year. When the pandemic is over, you can be sure to find April singing her heart out at a local Karaoke spot, specializing in Disney tunes!</p><p>Boys Town Nevada is grateful to have had April join our team and can't wait to see her many contributions to public health and the community!</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="April Cruda - Boys Town Nevada" src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/April-Cruda-picture.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Nevada LIFT Together Program Helping Kids and Families During Virtual Learning Town Nevada LIFT Together Program Helping Kids and Families During Virtual Learning<p>“Back to School" looks very different for families here in Nevada this fall as the Clark County School District has opted for full-time virtual learning amidst the coronavirus pandemic. </p><p>Boys Town Nevada has also made changes and adjustments to continue to serve kids and families through our LIFT Together program, an initiative that sees Boys Town partner with local schools to address behavioral challenges both in the classroom and at home. Our School Support Specialists may not be physically on campus, but they are still supporting students and their families. </p><p>Through flexibility, and with the assistance of technology, Boys Town Nevada staff has found ways to continue to provide the imperative services that LIFT Together encompasses. Staff are working face-to-face with families to ensure they have the materials and infrastructure for their children to learn at home. Our Family Consultants work with families to set up schedules for home schooling, and to continue to work on parenting skills and address behavioral issues, including truancy.</p><p>Staff will also be hosting Virtual Social Skills Groups, bringing students together in a safe and distanced capacity. Additionally, Boys Town trainers will provide specialized virtual trainings to teachers on how to identify students who may need additional support and services.</p><p>Boys Town's staff remains committed to serving children and families in our community and maintain a flexible approach to program administration during these challenging times. To learn more about LIFT Together and Boys Town's other programs, contact Jessica Sasso at <a href=""></a>.</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Follow Carlatta and Kaye’s Journey with Boys Town Nevada Carlatta and Kaye’s Journey with Boys Town Nevada<p>Kaye is a smart, sweet, vivacious young girl, but she was struggling. She'd been in and out of multiple foster homes and was desperate for attention and affection. When Carlatta took Kaye in, she was hopeful it would turn out to be Kaye's forever home, but after all Kaye had been through, behavioral issues continued. It was at that point that a Boys Town School Support Specialist working at Kaye's school recognized her struggles and recommended her family work with an In-Home Family Consultant.  </p><p>Carlatta was hesitant to let a stranger into her home. But she found Ashley, the Boys Town Consultant, to be warm, focused and helpful. Over the course of three-plus months Ashley worked with Carlatta and Kaye, helping them to build upon their strengths, and finding tools to help address challenges. Slowly but surely, Kaye's behavior improved, and Carlatta's comfort in being a hands-on parent to Kaye grew. </p><p>Working with Boys Town provided guidance and tools at a time when Carlatta says she felt hopeless.  With new parenting skills and a new perspective, Carlatta officially adopted Kaye earlier this year, providing the love and consistency that Kaye had been searching for.     </p><p>See Carlatta and Kaye's journey with Boys Town here.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="" width="640" height="235" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div>2020-09-15T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Carlatta and Kaye" src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Carlatta-and-Kaye.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Staff Spotlight: Leona Hunter Spotlight: Leona Hunter<p><strong>School's Out, But Boys Town Nevada Stays Connected </strong><br>When Boys Town Nevada School Support Specialist Leona Hunter first met Jason, it was due to unfortunate circumstances.</p><p>Classroom teachers at Peterson Academic were frustrated with Jason's behavior and he was being removed from class frequently. Because the young boy was known for being a jokester, Leona used the power of laughter to get to know him. Once he began to trust Leona, she was able to learn how he was using his behavior to get himself removed from class.</p><p>Jason would purposely get in trouble whenever he felt the school work assigned was too hard for him. Thanks to Leona, Boys Town Nevada staff helped Jason learn more appropriate ways to speak to teachers and ask for help. Eventually, he started understanding the importance of taking responsibility for his actions.</p><p>Boys Town also stepped in to help the school reach out to Jason's mother to get an IEP (individualized education plan) assessment. This IEP helps the school find the best way to help Jason learn.</p><p>Communication issues and the corona virus pandemic made it difficult to get the family and school on the same page. Thanks to Leona, she not only made school connections, she also found out through Jason's mom that they were having a difficult time coming up with basic everyday items needed in the home. Leona was able to get the household items to the family the next day.</p><p>After that, Leona had no issues getting ahold of the family and started doing weekly check-ins. Jason's mother would even sometimes call Leona to check in on her. Thanks to Leona's persistence and willingness to help in more ways than one, she was able to help not just a child, but an entire family!</p>2020-06-24T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Leona Hunger of Boys Town" src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Leona-Hunter.jpg" 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 Nevada helping more families during pandemic Town Nevada helping more families during pandemic<p> <strong><strong style="color:#000000;font-size:medium;"><em><span style="font-size:13.5pt;line-height:19.26px;border:1pt none windowtext;padding:0in;">This article was written by Hector Mejia and posted on <a href="" target="_blank">​</a></span></em></strong><span style="color:#000000;font-size:medium;"></span>​</strong></p><p><strong>LAS VEGAS (KLAS)</strong> — During these stressful times, there's a greater need to help troubled youth and their families. In the face of the coronavirus crisis, the <a href="/locations/nevada/Pages/default.aspx">non-profit Boys Town Nevada </a>is reworking its operations to meet that need.</p><p>Boys Town Nevada does a lot of in-home visits. But with social distancing, it's reaching families through video conferencing. The non-profit is opening new cases even during the pandemic.</p><p>Many families are not used to being in close quarters and may not know how to handle that new dynamic. That's where Boys Town Nevada steps in and helps youths and their parents.</p><p>The non-profit gets referrals from schools, courts, and the department of family services.</p><p>“We're opening as many families as possible at this time because it is such a big thing right now that people don't know how to handle the change at home with their kids, without a job and just not knowing the resources that are available to them," said Ashley Ferris, in-home family consultant, Boys Town Nevada.</p><p>Ferris says those resources can mean the difference in transforming an entire family. The consultants can help create schedules and home activity plans to help parents get through the “Stay at Home" directive.</p><p>If you would like to help Boys Town Nevada with its mission to help families, <a href="/locations/nevada/Pages/default.aspx">you can donate here</a>.​<br><br></p>2020-04-15T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nevada/PublishingImages/NV-helping-families-during-pandemic.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent