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Hope for the Holidays for the Holidays<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​Each year, Boys Town South Florida shares the joy of the Holidays by providing brand new toys and gifts to over 100 children in South Florida. This is only possible with the help from our caring community members and businesses, including you!</span></p><p>If you are interested in receiving a child's wish list, please email Elizabeth “Lili" Lopez-Smith at <a href=""></a>, or call 561-612-6000 for further information.<br></p><p>We will be collecting new toys and gifts until December 9, 2022.<br></p><p><strong>Join us to help bring a bright smile to children's faces during this time of year through your thoughtful toy and gift donations.</strong></p>2022-12-09T06:00:00ZEvent<img alt="tree lighting" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/Tree.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent




Grateful Give efforts Give efforts<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​Our hearts are grateful for this amazing group of volunteers and staff who came together through our Thanksgiving Grateful Give effort to bag food items, write encouraging messages and distribute Thanksgiving bags of food to 120 families we serve. A special thank you to:</span></p><p></p><ul><li>Family Church West for donating food items and gift cards</li><li>The Weiss School in Palm Beach Gardens for providing food for more than 20 families</li><li>100+ Women Who Care Jupiter-Tequesta chapter, for donating dessert food items for 25+ families</li><li>2 individual donors who donated $1,000 each</li><li>Florida Crystals Corporation for donating fabric bags, sugar and rice for all the families</li><li>Our Board Chair Jaime Holland for securing a $1,500 donation from Florida Power & Light to support 30 families  </li><li>Publix for giving a $200.00 gift card</li><li>Board Members Susan and David Yeager for volunteering with us on Saturday</li><li>All our amazing staff who came out and helped<br></li></ul><p></p><p>About 1/3 of the families who signed up to receive food do not have transportation, and we coordinated the food distribution with our amazing program staff members who drove to their clients' homes to bring their Thanksgiving food bags, a turkey and a bag of potatoes.</p><p><span style="background-color:transparent;">Thank you!</span></p><p><span style="background-color:transparent;"><img src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Grateful-Give-efforts/Grateful-give-food.jpg" alt="Grateful-give-food.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></span></p>2022-12-01T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Grateful Give" src="/locations/PublishingImages/Grateful-Give-efforts.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Letter from the Executive Director from the Executive Director<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​A</span><span style="background-color:transparent;">s we look forward to the last quarter of the year, we have much to be thankful for! This year has been exciting as we have officially launched a new program, LIFT Together with Boys Town!</span><sup style="background-color:transparent;">SM</sup><span style="background-color:transparent;"> LIFT Together is bringing together educators, students, families, community members and Boys Town experts to address at-risk student's social-emotional needs. We are currently working with West Gate Elementary in Palm Beach County and Stirling Elementary in Broward, both title I schools. Our focus is to support the school to increase parent and student engagement, reduce truancy, increase positive school behaviors, and provide additional training for teachers through our Well Managed Schools initiative. This coordinated action is what makes the initiative so powerful, because only together can we positively change the life of a child. </span></p><p>The need for prevention and early intervention services is critical. School performance is often one of the early warning signs of trouble for a child. In Florida, 85% of children enter foster care for reasons other than abuse (e.g., lack of supervision, childhood behavior issues, unmet basic needs, inadequate housing)<a href="" target="_blank"><sup>[1]</sup></a>. Many of their parents simply lack the knowledge and resources they need to overcome challenges. Preventative family strengthening services spares children the trauma of family separation and provide a cost-effective way to improve their overall well-being. That is why investing in the work that Boys Town South Florida does is so critically important. Everything we do is with the intent to strengthen the family and create a safe and stable home and community environment for children. We are so appreciative of our board members, staff, partners, donors and volunteers that support our efforts to serve at-risk children and families in our community. Thank you to all of you for your support that enables Boys Town to continue to serve even more families and children in the coming years.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Bethany Lacey<br>Executive Director<br></p>2022-11-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Bethany" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/Bethany.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
First Annual Family Community Action Summit Annual Family Community Action Summit<p>Boys Town South Florida recently hosted its first <em>Family Community Action Summit,</em> bringing together experts to discuss youth mental health and solution-driven action.<br>“We are living in different times. Children and families are struggling with many issues, including the effects of the pandemic and non-stop social media pressure. As a result, our youth are experiencing a dramatic rise in mental and behavioral health issues," said Bethany Lacey, Executive Director of Boys Town South Florida.</p><p>Through a panel discussion including Dr. Mary Claire Mucenic, Director of Behavioral and Mental Health Services at the School District of Palm Beach County; Dr. Diane Kelly Andreou, Director of the outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic at Boys Town South Florida; Dr. Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County; and the Honorable Judge Luis Delgado, who presided in the Juvenile Division for six years and has recently moved to the Circuit Civil Division with the 15<sup>th</sup> Judicial Circuit of Florida, the panel moderator Derek Harris, attorney with Carlton Fields and Boys Town South Florida board member, led a very important discussion about the crisis of youth mental health in our South Florida communities as well as across the country.</p><p>With the increase of youth mental health cases even before the pandemic, children and young adults are experiencing more mental and behavioral issues than ever. According to the CDC, the suicide rate in youth ages 10-to-24 has risen 60% since 2007. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in that age group.</p><p>The Action Summit was the perfect platform to recognize Boys Town South Florida's <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Family of the Year</span>; Bella, age 15, and her mom, Elissa (featured in picture attached). Bella suffered through bullying in elementary and middle school and living in isolation during the pandemic. This led to having intrusive thoughts. Bella needed help coping with anxiety and that is when her mom contacted Boys Town's outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. After a few therapy sessions, Elissa realized Boys Town is the same organization that offers Primary Project at some of the elementary schools within the School District of Palm Beach County. That group helped Bella when she was 5-years old to ease her transition into kindergarten.  Almost eight years later, Bella once again was able to find help at Boys Town South Florida, this time with Dr. Steve, a pediatric psychologist who Bella admires.</p><p>“I am very grateful to Dr. Steve for teaching me coping skills that I will be able to take with me to college and well into my adult life," Bella said.<br><br>The purpose of the Family Community Action Summit is to raise awareness of what needs to be done to create a movement through local partnerships of stakeholders in order to support more children with mental health challenges -- be it in the public or private sectors, nonprofit organizations, or government led efforts. The more parties we can identify to join these efforts, the better.</p><p>A big thank you goes out to Florida Power and Light, the presenting sponsor of the Action Summit, and to everyone who attended it.​<br></p>2022-10-21T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Help Send South Florida Kids Back to School Send South Florida Kids Back to School<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">Dear Friends of Boys Town South Florida,</span><br></p><p> <strong>Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 34?</strong></p><p>That is an alarming fact and more than ever, it is vital to be mindful of the mental health of our children and the family stressors that may be affecting our children's lives. That is why caring for mental health is a top concern.​<br></p><p></p><blockquote><p style="text-align:left;"> <em>John was referred to Boys Town South Florida’s Care Coordination Services after making suicidal and homicidal statements via text during an incident that occurred at the beginning of the school year. Mom had shared a great deal of concerns for her son’s safety, and the choices he had made. As a result, John was Baker Acted and admitted to JFK Hospital. John was diagnosed with adjustment disorder and discharged three days later. Mom also mentioned to our Family Consultant that she was concerned with John’s academic performance as he was behind in several classes. She said that John seemed to not be able to focus in class and she had to constantly remind him when he had an assignment due or a test coming up. Mom also let us know that John lost his dad in July 2021 to cancer. John was linked to counseling services and community resources, including a mentoring program. The young man was also referred to a psychiatric evaluation and started to take medication, which greatly helped him to focus better and improved his academic performance. The Family Consultant shared that John has come a long way. He has a mentor who he can relate to, and both have a common interest. His mentor plays golf and John is a very good golf player. John has reported that he feels comfortable speaking with his mentor and is able to talk to him about anything, especially about losing his dad. When it comes to John’s academics, the Family Consultant encouraged his mom to complete the 504 Plan process, so that John could be evaluated. He finished the last school year with A’s and B’s, which was a huge accomplishment, according to his mom. This young man always says that if it were not for his mother, he would not have the grades that he does. John also learned to be a good advocate for himself and he lets his teachers know when he needs help with his schoolwork.</em></p></blockquote><p></p><p>“I continue to work with John in meeting his goals. I look forward to seeing him reach for the stars and succeeding!", said his mom. (John is a pseudo name)</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With the beginning of a new school year just around the corner, every child and family will face different challenges. Boys Town South Florida is here to help families with children who are struggling to overcome their problems to access services designed to help them get on a more positive life path.</p><p>I hope that you can join Boys Town South Florida today by donating to ensure that at-risk students get the help they need. Together, we can provide preventative support to improve children's behavior and to help stabilize families. <a href="" target="_blank">Any amount you can give</a> is greatly appreciated and will make a tremendous difference in the life of a child in need.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Thank you for standing with vulnerable children!<br><em> </em><br>Blessings,</p><p>Bethany Lacey, Executive Director</p><p> <em>P.S. Please keep at-risk children in your prayers. Thank you, again, for sharing our commitment to help these innocent young souls rediscover their hope for the future.<br></em><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"> <a class="btn" href="" target="_blank">DONATE TODAY</a></p>2022-08-15T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Back to School" src="/locations/nevada/PublishingImages/Back-to-School-Appeal-photo.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="back to school" src="/locations/nevada/PublishingImages/Back-to-School-Appeal-photo.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Board of Directors Spotlight: Jermaine Bucknor of Directors Spotlight: Jermaine Bucknor<p></p><p>Jermaine Bucknor is the Chief Financial Officer for Wellington Regional Medical Center. He has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and a comprehensive knowledge of fiscal management. Prior to joining Wellington Regional, he served for more than two years as the CFO for two hospitals owned by Community Health Systems in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to that position, he was the CFO for Alliance Health Medical (CHS) in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and CFO at multiple hospitals with Advent Health (formally Advent Health System). Over the years he has worked collaboratively with other executives to improve operational efficiencies and drive margin growth.</p><p>He earned an MBA from La Sierra University in California and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. He is currently Wellington Regional's representing member at the Rotary Club of Wellington. He was a member of the Foundation Board at Florida Hospital Memorial and served as a member of the Opportunity Center Board – a community skills development organization in Ponca City Oklahoma. </p><p>He is married to Candice Bucknor, RN. They have two boys, Jermaine Jr, 17 and Johnathon, 15. </p><p>He enjoys multiple sporting activities, classic cars, spending time with family, and being of service to others.</p><p><strong>Why did you become involved with Boys Town South Florida?</strong></p><p>To support the organization as it continues to fulfill its mission and vision. <br></p><p><strong>What do you wish other people knew about Boys Town?</strong></p><p>The great work that is being done and the number of lives being positively impacted across numerous communities.<br></p><p><strong>What is your favorite program/service that Boys Town South Florida offers? Why?</strong></p><p>I do love all the services provided by Boys Town but the one at the top is, Parent-Child+.  I believe this program provides the opportunity to set a strong foundation early in the child's life. <br></p><p>Kids tend to be very impressionable at the ages of 2 & 3 and what better time to help develop healthy, positive experiences.<br></p><p><strong>What others will be surprised to know about you?</strong></p><p>I am very handy around the house and possess skills to perform several projects. I am very passionate about law enforcement. My goal at one time was to become a law enforcement officer.​<br></p><p><strong>Favorite Quote</strong></p><p>“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”<br><span style="background-color:transparent;">               Maya Angelou</span></p><p><br></p>2022-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/South-FL-Jermaine-Bucknor.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Message from Bethany Lacey, Executive Director from Bethany Lacey, Executive Director<img src="file:///Users/yuawei/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/TemporaryItems/msohtmlclip/clip_image001.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <p>As we look to what's ahead in the second half of 2022, we see so many opportunities to continue to support at-risk children and families in South Florida!</p><p>Now more than ever, the <strong>need for services is critical</strong>. <strong>Anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed</strong> from 11% in 2019 to 42% last year. Additionally, the <strong>suicide rate between the ages of 10 and 24 has risen 60%</strong> between 2007 and 2018, and it is <strong>currently the second leading cause of death</strong> in that age group.</p><p>Although these statistics are bleak, I choose to look through the lens of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hope</span>. Boys Town South Florida remains committed to bringing hope, healing and help to the children in our community.</p><p>This year, in response to the overwhelming need in our community, we are launching a new program. <strong>We are opening the first LIFT Together program in Florida</strong>. LIFT Together with Boys Town<sup>SM</sup> is bringing together educators, students, families, community members and Boys Town experts to address at-risk student's social-emotional needs. <strong>This coordinated action is what makes the initiative so powerful, because only together can we positively change the life of a child</strong>.</p><p>The implementation of the LIFT Together programming requires a multi-year commitment that ensures the quality of programming, relationship building and sustainability over time. We are continually looking for our community to partner with us to make this program available to more schools.</p><p> <strong>Thank you</strong> to all of you for your support that enables Boys Town to continue to serve even more families and children in the coming years. If you want to hear more about how we are partnering with our community to address the needs of families, I invite you to attend our <strong>Family Community Action Summit on October 6, 2022.</strong> Please see below for more details.<br></p>2022-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Bethany.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town South Florida’s Primary Project Helps Bella Overcome Anxiety Issues Town South Florida’s Primary Project Helps Bella Overcome Anxiety Issues<p></p><p><em>This story was written by a mom whose daughter participated in our Primary Project years ago. Although many years have passed, this mom saw how her daughter was able to overcome anxiety and feel good about going to school. The program truly helped set her on a successful academic path. Primary Project is offered at 12 elementary schools in Palm Beach County, and it helps over 600 kindergarten and first-grade students improve their adjustment to school and enhance their social and emotional well-being.</em><br><strong> </strong><br>When my daughter Bella was in first grade, she started showing signs of anxiety, especially at school. We had gone through a lot of changes in our household leading up to that year, but it seemed to culminate with me going back to work for the first time ever in her short life. </p><p>She really struggled with not wanting to go (to school) each day. She would cry on the way to school, and often the staff would have to come outside and walk her into the building to get her past the front doors. She was the kid who would literally cry and hold on to the door jamb as I tried to get her inside. It was rough. On top of that, she was struggling with her self-esteem, feeling like she just wasn't “enough" somehow. </p><p>That's when Primary Project came in and changed her life. Bella went from a shy, anxious, introverted child to an extroverted girl who seems to know everyone. She has gone from standing on the fringes of her life to being fully immersed in her experiences both on campus and off.</p><p>Bella is now 15 and just finished her freshman year in high school. This past year she was in a competition color guard team, active in her JTOTC and ready to get involved every time the school doors open. She makes friends everywhere she goes and seems to have a special gift for finding the lonely persons and bringing them into her circle.</p><p>Bella loves to be the center of attention and is proud of her academic and athletic accomplishments. She will (without prompting, lol) share that she can “squat lift more than the guys on her squad." She also talks your ear off when sharing what she wrote about in her AICE General Papers class or the newest thing she learned in her Holocaust history class.</p><p>Bella is strong, smart, brave and kind. She has had her struggles, and when she started having anxiety again during COVID and shutdowns, we once again turned to Boys Town South Florida. Their Behavioral Health Clinic was there to help guide her and give her new skills that have continued to shape her into this amazing young woman. I wish I were 1/10th as incredible as she is! I am forever grateful for Primary Project for starting her on this great journey to become the best version of herself she could be."<br><br></p><p><br></p>2022-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/SFL-Bella-sucess-story-rollover.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/SFL-Bella-sucess-story.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent