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Teen's Turnaround Takes Off at Boys Town Nevada

Adan shows off his certificate for reaching the Achievement level of the Boys Town motivation system, the highest level possible

​​Adan Perez used to be a rebellious ​youth, running away from home and running into all kinds of trouble.

Today, Adan is a Runnin’ Rebel at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the first member of his family to graduate high school and attend college.

Adan’s path to success was a long and difficult one. Fortunately, it ran through Boys Town Nevada.

Adan had been involved in the juvenile justice system since 2010 and had spent a year in a secure detention facility before he became a resident of the site’s Family Home Program. Like many youth who come to Boys Town, Adan had an extensive history of delinquency – substance abuse, gang affiliation, possession of a weapon, property destruction, truancy and running away from home. He also had been in 20 out-of-home placements during his younger years.

But Boys Town Nevada was different. Once there, Adan made a choice – a choice to change.

The Boys Town Family Home Program provides a structured, family-style living environment where youth have an opportunity to turn their lives around by learning social skills, finding success in school and building healthy relationships. In every Family Home, a trained married couple called Family-Teachers® helps youth create a foundation for success as productive adults.

Adan worked hard to achieve the personal and behavioral goals that were set for him by his Family-Teachers, Danny and Annora Holland. In school, he maintained a high grade point average and actively participated in choir and the track team.

Thanks to the efforts of the Hollands and other staff members, Adan also successfully reached the highest level of the Boys Town motivation system, making him a positive role model for other youth in his Family Home.

And Adan’s run of successes didn’t stop there. 

After graduating from high school, Adan applied for admission to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Nevada-Reno. He was accepted by both colleges and chose UNLV; he recently moved into the campus dorms and started fall semester classes.

Adan earned over $6,500 in scholarships to help fund his college costs. He was selected for a Leadership Conference scholarship and accepted the award during an NBA Summer League game at UNLV between the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also is an active member of a youth council for a local nonprofit organization that helps homeless high school students, and was recently selected to chair a successful community project sponsored by the council.

Additionally, Adan works at a local restaurant, using the opportunity to demonstrate the new skills he learned at Boys Town Nevada. He continues to hone his independent-living skills and is becoming familiar with the Las Vegas bus system, with the help of Boys Town Aftercare Specialist Tasha Leaver, so he can easily commute to and from work.
It’s a busy schedule, and it keeps Adan on the run. But now, the teen knows he’s headed in the right direction.