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Las Vegas Youth Travels to D.C. to Advocate for Kids

A former ​Boys Town Nevada Youth recently took part in a congressional briefing in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 17.  Seventeen year old Aeryn was in trouble with the law before coming to Boys Town, she has since turned her life around and now she’ll be part of a briefing that will inform others about the needs of other at-risk children.

Aeryn provided insight for an overview of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and the ways in which it diverts youth from juvenile justice system involvement, saves taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, promotes safer, stronger and healthier youth, families and communities. The legislation expired in 2007, but there is a movement to reauthorize the bill.

“Today, the JJDPA remains the only law that sets out national standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system,” said Howard Olshansky, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director. “It codifies what we have come to think of as common-sense: kids, even when they come into conflict with the law, should be treated as kids, and we hope Aeryn can help put the need for this law to be reinstated in perspective.”

The new bill strengthens and updates the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which has provided states and localities with federal standards and supports for improving juvenile justice and delinquency prevention practices and contributed to safeguards for youth, families and communities for more than 40 years.

Now nineteen years-old, Aeryn lives in her own apartment, attends college and works part-time. She’ll continue to work with Boys Town, as she earns her college degree, but she’s well on her way to a bright future.