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Meet Katie and John, a Boys Town New England Foster Family!https://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/news-and-events/Pages/Meet-Katie-and-John-a-Boys-Town-New-England-Foster-Family.aspxMeet Katie and John, a Boys Town New England Foster Family!<p>"If it's something your heart feels like it should do, do it. It's worth it." &#128153;</p><p>Meet Katie and John, a Boys Town New England Foster Family! They sat down (virtually) with Foster Family Recruiter and Trainer, Sara Hinchcliffe, to talk about their experience fostering, and to answer all your burning questions about becoming a licensed foster family.</p><p>If you've ever thought about fostering, or want to learn more about the process, this is the perfect opportunity!</p><p> <a href="/foster-family-services/Pages/default.aspx">Learn more here</a></p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/433749862" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div>2020-07-02T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Hotline Hosts Bellevue East Hope Squad for “Talent Tour”https://www.boystown.org/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Hotline-Hosts-Bellevue-East-Hope-Squad-for-Talent-Tour.aspxHotline 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 Equalityhttps://www.boystown.org/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-Stands-for-Racial-Equality.aspxBoys 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
Spotlight On: Family and Community Serviceshttps://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/news-and-events/Pages/Spotlight-On-Family-and-Community-Services.aspxSpotlight On: Family and Community Services<p><strong>Part I:</strong></p><p>It's every parent's worst fear: not being or having enough for their child. When struggles with employment, housing, relationship instabilities or mental and physical health issues affect a parent's ability to provide a safe and supportive home for their child, it can lead to intervention from outside organizations. Our Family and Community Services help struggling families stay together and/or help families safely and successfully reunite if children have been removed from the home.</p><p>Our Care Coordination Team helps families identify and access needed supports and resources, navigate care systems to keep children safe and improve home stability. Consultants assist with developing and improving parenting skills while also teaching parents to advocate for themselves. </p><p>Boys Town In-Home Family Services® have trained Family Consultants who help families in their own homes. The Family Consultants empower parents by teaching them new parenting skills and by providing emotional support 24/7.</p><p><strong>Part II:</strong></p><p>Our Family and Community Services team is led by Kaitlyn and Jen. In 2017, Kaitlyn began working at Boys Town after completing her Master's degree in Barcelona, Spain, and conducting post-thesis research in Lebanon. Jen has been with Boys Town since 2008; prior to that, she was in a leadership position at an early childhood facility. </p><p>One of the fun things we like to ask our employees is “Why Boys Town? Why do you show up every day for your families?" Our Family and Community Services team member's answers are incredibly inspiring and truly exemplify our staff as a whole. Our employees are the perfect mix of passion and compassion with a good dash of determination and hard work sprinkled in. Here's some of their responses: </p><p><strong>Kaitlyn: </strong>“I show up every day and give 100% because I have seen the change that is possible when you teach families positive skills, link them to the right resources and advocate for them along the way. There is no better feeling than seeing your families happy and healthy."</p><p><strong>Jen:</strong><em> </em>“We get to support families, see them evolve and learn and ultimately reunify. This is why I chose to be in this line of work; everyone deserves a chance in life."</p><p><strong>Sharae:</strong> “I believe every family falls on hard times and deserves to be saved. I enjoy being that positive spark that helps families reunite."</p><p><strong>Alcida: </strong>“Boys Town is changing families' lives for the better on a daily basis. I want to be a part of this mission."</p><p><strong>Brittany:</strong> “It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascend to learning and to see the good, but to be willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not." – Plato, “The Allegory of the Cave"</p><p><strong>Anastasia: </strong>“I believe in providing genuine support and resources for families. I wanted to work somewhere that has a concrete, positive impact on the community – and Boys Town fights for that."</p><p><strong>Charles:</strong> “We offer hope to our families that they can live beyond their current situation. Watching a person transcend their circumstances is exhilarating and inspiring!"</p><p><strong>Melissa:</strong> “I have a passion for helping others in times of hardship! I want to help empower our clients to be confident, courageous and strong for themselves and their families."</p><p><br></p>2020-04-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Family and Community Service" src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/SpotLight.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Rhode Island Brother and Sister Find Their Forever Family with Boys Town Foster Parentshttps://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/news-and-events/Pages/RI-Brother-and-Sister-Find-Forever-Family-with-BT-Foster-Parents.aspxRhode Island Brother and Sister Find Their Forever Family with Boys Town Foster Parents<p>When Owen and Harper arrived at Sonia Diaz's home, the foster mom quickly realized she had work to do. Not unlike many children in their situation, Owen, age 5, and Harper, age 4, had histories of physical and emotional abuse, and each had behavioral issues to work through. </p><p>Owen was a rollercoaster of emotions, which often resulted in tantrums and outbursts. He desperately needed support to learn the skills necessary to work through issues and situations in healthier ways. Harper was the opposite – reserved and shy – almost to the point of being mute. Sonia wasn't even able to get Harper to choose a pair of shoes to wear in the morning without spending the better part of an hour coaxing an answer out of her.</p><p>But Sonia and her husband, Jose, weren't deterred. With over nine years of experience as Boys Town Foster Parents, they were more than prepared for the challenge. They spent months building up trusting relationships with Owen and Harper, and focused on empowering them by providing plenty of emotional support and guidance. </p><p>Over time, Owen's emotional outbursts lessened as he learned better ways to cope with and express his feelings. And Harper eventually began singing at church in front of the entire congregation – in Spanish, which is not her first language! </p><p>It didn't take long before Sonia and Jose decided they couldn't bear the thought of Owen and Harper leaving their home, so they began the adoption process. In January of 2020, Owen and Harper officially became members of the Diaz family.</p><p>Individuals like Sonia and Jose are the reason Boys Town New England can provide such incredible care options to its foster children. The Diaz family began fostering in 2011 after Sonia just couldn't kick the feeling that “something was missing." She got hooked on watching “Tuesday's Children," a weekly spot run on Rhode Island news channels that spotlights an adoptable local child. On a whim one day, she reached out to Boys Town – and since then they've never looked back.</p><p>Sonia and Jose have built lasting relationships with more than two dozen foster children who they've welcomed into their home. Sonia prides herself on being an advocate for the children in her care, their biological families and reunification whenever it is possible. She is still in touch with the first sibling set she fostered, both are teenagers now, and their mom who Sonia pushed to be reunited with her children despite language and cultural differences that made communication tough. Over the course of their fostering lives, Sonia and Jose have adopted four children (although, according to Sonia, Jose would have “adopted them all if he could!"). They also have three adult biological children. “I always wanted a huge family!" Sonia said while laughing. </p><p>Sonia credits the ease of the foster process to Boys Town New England. “The staff at Boys Town New England…they are not my coworkers and they are not just another agency – they are my family. I can always rely on them, whether I need help with my foster kids, my adopted kids or my biological kids. They are here for my entire family; every child is important."</p><p><strong>To learn more about becoming a foster parent please call us today at 401-845-2250 (RI) or 800-847-2025 (MA), or visit us online at <a href="/new-england">boystown.org/new-england</a>.</strong></p>2020-04-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Introducing Owen and Harper Diaz!" src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/BT-FosterParents.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Local Middle Schooler Donates More Than 120 Hours of Supporthttps://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/news-and-events/Pages/Local-Middle-Schooler-Donates-More-Than-120-Hours-of-Support.aspxLocal Middle Schooler Donates More Than 120 Hours of Support<p>When 15-year-old Ashley Burke first reached out to Boys Town New England's Development Office in the summer of 2018, Development Coordinator, Elizabeth Rose, was impressed and excited. </p><blockquote><p><em>“Ashley needed a project to do for her Girl Scout troop and chose Boys Town," Rose said. “She had already researched our organization and was eager to help children in need. After identifying a project that could be done from afar – Ashley lives in New York – she offered to make gift tags for our Adopt a Child Christmas drive. They were adorable and the kids loved them! We were so thankful for her support."</em></p></blockquote><p>But it didn't stop there. Ashley wanted to continue helping and soon pitched a second project following a suggestion made by Boys Town staff. Since many of the kids who arrive at Boys Town New England are lacking basic toiletries, Ashley volunteered to make dozens of drawstring toiletry bags and source all the items needed to fill them – right down to the hourglass timers the children could flip to make sure they were brushing their teeth for the appropriate amount of time. Ashley also provided plenty of boxes filled with extra items.</p><p>In all, Ashley put in more than 120 hours on the project, including traveling from her home in New York to deliver all the items, tour the campus and meet Boys Town youth and staff. From working on the project, Ashley said, “I learned that not everyone is born into an ideal childhood or has the same opportunities as I do. There is always something you can do to help others, no matter how big or small."</p><p>Through her work with Boys Town, Ashley was able to earn her Girl Scouts Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette can receive. Over the last two years, Ashley has shown an amazing dedication to supporting children in need – and for that the entire Boys Town New England team is incredibly thankful. Well done, Ashley!</p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/volunteer-2.jpg" alt="Volunteering" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/volunteer-3.jpg" alt="Volunteered Items" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/volunteer-1.jpg" alt="Volunteer" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2020-04-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="I wanted to help kids who are not as fortunate as I am." src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/volunteer-1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town New England Christmas Tree Lightinghttps://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-New-England-Christmas-Tree-Lighting.aspxBoys Town New England Christmas Tree Lighting<p>On December 5, Boys Town New England hosted their Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The Portsmouth Middle School Glee Club performed Christmas carols, Santa was delivered in style thanks to the Portsmouth Fire Department, and Santa Billy of the Viking Riders and National Grid helped light the tree. Guests also toured the family homes to get the chance to see the living environment for the youth on campus. ​<br></p>2020-01-24T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="tree lighting" src="/locations/new-england/PublishingImages/NENGL-Tree-Lighting.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent