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Summer Fun in New England Fun in New England<p>​Not many people can say they've driven a Boston Duck Boat in Narragansett Bay, but thanks to our donors, our kids have! We've had an incredible summer providing memorable opportunities like this through our summer enrichment program. Other experiences include visiting the New England Aquarium and Six Flags New England, watching a New England Revolution game, and touring #NewportMansions. School will begin shortly, but as the transition to fall is made, one thing is for sure – this was truly a memorable Boys Town summer. Thank you Boys Town New England Donors!<br></p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Summer-fun-NENGL.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></p>2023-09-01T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Pares Got Your Back 2023 Got Your Back 2023<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">It's once again back- to- school time across the nation and for kids in the Boys Town foster programs and those living on the Bazarsky Portsmouth Campus, a surprise was waiting for them. Thanks to continued support and investment from the Pare Corporation of Lincoln, Rhode Island, 52 backpacks filled with school supplies for elementary, middle and high school students were donated again this year.</span></p><p>“We want to give foster families and children living at the Boys Town Portsmouth Campus a head start by offering them backpacks filled with school supplies to encourage a love of learning, and maybe even inspire a future engineer or scientist," said Pare Employee, Sarah Pierce. </p><p>The backpacks were filled with supplies including notebooks, markers, pens, pencils, paper, erasers and even tissues. </p><p>“Pare continues to be such a dedicated partner to Boys Town and our mission of improving kids lives," Director of Development, Glenn Hofmann said. “From the start of school through the holidays, Pare is always thinking of ways to make our kids' experiences even more valuable and enjoyable. On behalf of all of us at Boys Town, I can't thank the employees of Pare enough."</p><p>The Pare Corporation was founded in 1970 and is a trusted engineering partner to federal, state, and municipal governments, architects, designers, construction companies, and owner/developer teams throughout the Eastern United States. </p><p>Boys Town plans to host Pare employees for a cookout with Family Home and foster ids on the Bazarsky Campus in October.​<br></p><p> <img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/pares-got-your-back.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p>​</p>2023-08-30T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Newport Man Lands Job at Non-profit He was Placed in as a Foster Kid Man Lands Job at Non-profit He was Placed in as a Foster Kid<p>​<em style="background-color:transparent;">This article was written by LIZ BATESON. It was posted on </em><a href="" target="_blank" style="background-color:transparent;"><em>NBC 10 NEWS</em></a><em style="background-color:transparent;"> on August 4th, 2023</em></p><p>(WJAR) — A Newport man who found healing and hope through a non-profit program during his teenage years is now returning to the organization as a full-time employee.</p><p><a href="/Pages/default.aspx">Boys Town</a>, a non-profit located in Portsmouth, gives at-risk youth a chance to turn their lives around. The Portsmouth campus has five family homes where children age 10-18 live and receive in-home family services and community support services.</p><p>The kids learn social, emotional, and independent-living skills that help them find success in their school, community and beyond.</p><p>James Hackett lived on campus for 11 months as a teenager.</p><p>"I didn't really know what to expect. I was about 16-17 when I came here. It was pretty scary," said Hackett.</p><p>Hackett was adopted at three weeks old and lost both of his parents by the time he was a pre-teen. From there, he was in and out of group homes until he eventually settled down in Boys Town.</p><p>"You're taken away from a home that you're really familiar with. You're taken away from friends that you really connect with or adults that you have a positive influence with. Then you're being brought into a home where you don't know anyone," Hackett explained.</p><p>Hackett says there was a big learning curve when he first arrived.</p><p>"As an adolescent who didn't listen to rules that well because I didn't have a good upbringing, why would I want to listen to anyone, especially people that are not my family?" he explained.</p><p>But over the course of nearly a year, with persistence and love from the Boys Town staff, his walls started to come down.</p><p>"Your behavior starts changing because your family teachers are teaching you and loving you," Hackett recalled.</p><p>Now a decade later, he's returning to campus as a full-time employee. Hackett currently works as an assistant family teacher, helping kids develop healthy social and emotional skills.</p><p>He says he's able to pull from his own experience to move the next generation forward.</p><p>"These kids don't have families or are taken away from their families. I know exactly what that's like. I can relate to them in a positive way. Instead of saying I understand how you feel, I can actually understand how they feel," Hackett explained. He added, "Making sure the kids know that they're cared for and loved, that's my main job."</p><p>Hackett says it was important for him to give back to the organization that changed his life. He credits Boys Town with the success he's been able to achieve over the last 10 years.</p><p>"Because of Boys Town I was able to graduate. Because of Boys Town I was able to find my faith and have more positive influences in my life rather than being a kid lost in the system," Hackett explained.<br></p><p>To watch the full interview, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.​<br></p>2023-08-08T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="New England Campus" src="/locations/new-england/PublishingImages/New-England-Campus.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Mom’s Mental Health Matters’s Mental Health Matters<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">Karla, a mother of four young children, including an infant, was frustrated and at the end of her rope when her pre-kindergarten son, Yeysiom's, school principal at Henry J. Winters School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, referred her to Boys Town New England's In-Home Family Services (IHFS) Program.  The IHFS program is one of the services provided by the LIFT program offered in seven schools in Pawtucket. Through the program, teachers and parents learn strategies designed to improve positive behaviors, by using common language to ensure that everyone understands, and all are on the same page about the child's behavior.</span></p><p>Karla was concerned about Yeysiom's development. He would scream and be disruptive in the classroom and his explosive behavior resulted in him hitting the other children. Wendy Bravo, a Boys Town In-Home Family Services Consultant, completed Karla's intake, where it was clear that the single mom needed assistance in caring for her three-week-old baby and a behaviorally challenged son, who was regularly being sent home from school. “It was horrible. I was extremely overwhelmed taking care of the kids, plus a newborn, with no support," said Karla.</p><p>Wendy informed Karla about the Women and Infants Day Hospital and made the referral. “Not only did Wendy help me with my children's behaviors, but she also linked me to the Day In Program at Women and Infants. It helped me get my mind clear, where I was able to get a diagnosis and medication."</p><p>Once Karla felt well enough to help her children, Wendy worked with her on a safety plan for her son, including recognizing the warning signs before volatile behavior starts. Coping skills for Yeysiom included a calm down kit that contained fidgets, a sand timer, and a treasure box. The service plan Wendy created also included effective praise, consequences for positive and negative behaviors, and age-appropriate chore charts for Yeysiom and the older two children in the home. “Wendy provided me with strategies for all four of my kids. There have always been rules in the house, but I would've never thought of using chore charts or a reward system."</p><p>“Wendy always checked in on me and the kids if I cancelled, or if she had to cancel. We have always had a good relationship and she would interact well with the kids when they were home during her visits," said Karla.  “Boys Town not only helped my kids, but also helped me, and could help any other parent. I can apply what I learned moving forward. Boys Town taught me things I never tried before. I am feeling less stressed and I'm proud because I even stopped smoking. I appreciate everything Wendy did for us."</p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/moms-mental-health-matters/santiago-2.jpg" alt="santiago-2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:400px;height:344px;" />“Karla was unemployed, and we worked on identifying her goals. She now has a full-time job working from home, which enables her to continue to meet the needs of her family," said Wendy. “She is so much more confident in her parenting now and she realized that the positive parenting strategies acquired through In-Home Family services do work, when used consistently and when a parent remains calm."</p><p>“One of the most rewarding moments of working with Karla and her family was seeing her face light up when she utilized the skill of corrective teaching and realized that it worked with Yeysiom," said Wendy. “That breakthrough made me most proud of Karla, realizing that she can do this hard work of parenting four children as a single mom. She knows that behaviors are not going to be perfect, but improvement is the goal, and that is what we accomplished working together. It's progress not perfection."<br></p>2023-07-18T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Santiago-Marquez Family" src="/locations/louisiana/PublishingImages/santiago-1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Mother Finds Trust in Boys Town and Returns from Rock Bottom Finds Trust in Boys Town and Returns from Rock Bottom<p></p><p>Families entering the child welfare system often have no network of support around them, whether that's family, healthy friendships or other relationships. A web of support is crucial to being able to reunify and heal families, and ensure their long-term stability.</p><p>Boys Town New England Care Coordination Services Consultant Myrsha Frejuste's recent case story of family reunification is all about that web of support. Adriana, the mother in the case, suffered domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend, and her little girl Esperanza entered the system. Adriana was pregnant at the time of the assault, with injuries so severe she ended up in the hospital.  Her child's father was brought up on charges and incarcerated.  Adriana had no one she could go to for support. She was pregnant and homeless, and it seemed like she wouldn't be able to put her life back together. </p><p>Wary of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), Boys Town New England became that crucial support system for Adriana.  Although Adriana had secured temporary housing through a domestic violence shelter, which allowed her bonding time with her newborn son, Adrian, Boys Town linked Adriana to her own apartment with Crossroads for two years.  With a stable place to live she could now focus on Adrian, her recovery and working through the requirements she needed to complete as part of her DCYF case with Esperanza.</p><p>“Adriana completed domestic violence counseling and Boys Town's Common Sense Parenting®," said Frejuste. “Upon completion of Common Sense Parenting, I witnessed Adriana's growth in confidence of her own parenting skills.  She became comfortable in using her voice to advocate for herself and her children." </p><p>Family reunification often involves Boys Town providing a lot of support for parents.  The most important work we do throughout these cases is to ensure that everything is going to be safe and in the child's best interest.  Boys Town's Director of Community Support Services, Olivia Behrens, completed a risk screening and worked on safety planning in Adriana's new home.  She also put together a plan of who Adriana could contact should she feel anxious or overwhelmed. Behrens stated, “When working with families, it is important to ensure we are working on reunification throughout services, not just at the end. Adriana was able to commit to her safety and the safety of her children time and time again while working with us. When it was time for the kids to come home, she was prepared to keep herself and her children safe."</p><p>Frejuste worked with Adriana on visualizing what life would look like once reunification with Esperanza occurred.  They worked on a weekly schedule to include childcare, staying on top of feedings and time for Adriana to de-stress. </p><p>“Adriana was thoroughly engaged in services, and always so appreciative," said Frejuste. “One thing I learned about this case is that, when given the right support and resources, a person can come out of a dark time much stronger." </p><p>Adriana managed to get housing within a few months, but it took nearly a year of meetings, programs and court dates before family reunification occurred.  Whether it's a web of support or a major life change, finding ways to help families heal and stay together is a huge part of our work at Boys Town New England.​<br></p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Ham-Valdivia.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>​<br><br></p>2023-06-23T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Ham-Valdivia.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Hosts Inaugural Intellectual Property Summit Town Hosts Inaugural Intellectual Property Summit<p>​​On Tuesday, April 25, a group of employees from across Boys Town gathered at the corporate headquarters to participate in a collaborative brainstorming event. The first event of its kind at Boys Town, the 2023 Intellectual Property Summit resulted in shared ideas and expertise, connections across the many functions of our broad-reaching organization and a lot of laughs!<br></p><p>“Boys Town has an extensive history of taking concepts built from research and interaction with the people we serve and turning them into something that can change the way America cares for children and families," said Rod Kempkes, Boys Town CEO. “Over the years, we've used these ideas to create scalable solutions that impact children and families across the country, to improve service offerings in mental and physical health and to drive further research to advance care for future generations. The summit came to fruition to intentionally build on this history of change – and to bring together people from across the organization who might not typically interact with one another."</p><p>Upon arrival, representatives from departments ranging from research to IT to healthcare to education were split into groups of five to seven people. After spending some time participating in ice breakers to get their creative juices flowing, the groups were tasked with working as a team to come up with an innovative solution for a challenge faced by employees working to fulfill the Boys Town mission. Their creative, analytical, service-focused minds did not disappoint!</p><p>Following an afternoon of brainstorming, discussion and analysis, the groups presented ideas that addressed:</p><ul><li>Improving digital citizenship skills for Boys Town youth,</li><li>Eliminating transportation barriers for service users,</li><li>Modernizing fundraising options,</li><li>And more!</li></ul><p>Alas, only one team could claim the Square Mile Innovation Legacy (SMILe) Award. Chosen by popular vote of the summit participants, the SMILe Award recognizes the team that made the greatest impression. Voters were encouraged to consider connection to mission, resource efficiency, creativity and more.</p><p>Attendees chose the team of Gary Breit (external research consultant), John Etzell (youth care), Monty Horine (governance and strategy), Tony Jones (Successful Futures), Susie Kaup (marketing and development), Gabrielle Merchant (research) and Ryan Metcalf (IT) and their solution that addressed the youth mental health crisis.</p><p>Congratulations to our SMILe Award honorees, and to the entire cohort of 2023 Intellectual Property Summit participants! Boys Town extends a sincere thank you for your willingness to share your time, energy and creativity. ​<br></p><p>​</p>2023-06-13T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town New England Citizenship Ceremony Develops a New Tradition Town New England Citizenship Ceremony Develops a New Tradition<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">Boys Town New England celebrated one time-honored tradition, the Citizenship Ceremony, while starting a new one, the first-ever Spring Block Party, on Saturday, June 3 on the Bazarsky Campus in Portsmouth, RI. Nine boys and girls were officially welcomed into the Boys Town community during the traditional ceremony. Yet this year, the kids were inducted before an unusually large crowd gathered for the inaugural Spring Block Party.</span></p><p>As part of the ceremony, each youth bravely addressed the attendees and spoke heartfelt words about their Boys Town experience so far and what they hoped to learn while living on campus. Afterwards, Rhode Island State Senator Linda Ujifusa, State Representative Terri Cortvriend and State Representative Michelle McGaw presented each inductee with a proclamation certificate signifying their induction.</p><p>“The Citizenship Ceremony is such a meaningful part of the Boys Town experience and I was so excited that our kids, families, staff and friends could share this day with one another," said Director of Fundraising Glenn Hofmann. “The kids were amazing and deserved all the attention they received, and our guests were able to get a real sense of what Boys Town is all about. It was a great day for everyone."</p><p>Following the ceremony, three families opened their Family Homes to the community and the block party began. Each home featured catered food and desserts from area restaurants including Boat House, La Vecina Taqueria, Brick Alley Pub, Portsmouth Publick House, West Main Pizza, Becky's BBQ and Cupcake Charlies. The party also included posters showcasing the history of Boys Town, and an inflatable bounce house and obstacle course for younger attendees. Boys Town New England plans to add the Spring Block Party to its calendar each year as an opportunity to share the very best of our organization with the community. <br></p><p><img src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/new-citizenship-ceremony/cit-Cupcake.jpg" alt="cit-Cupcake.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2023-06-12T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="boys town building" src="/locations/new-england/PublishingImages/cit-Building.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent