Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

 
​​​​​​

 

 

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hats “On” for Boys Town Washington DC Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Hats “On” for Boys Town Washington DC <p>On Saturday, May 4, Boys Town Washington DC celebrated the 4<sup>th</sup> Annual Racing for the Roses Gala at the historic Mayflower Hotel. </p><p>Donors came dressed in their brightest florals, enjoying derby-inspired food, a silent auction and mint juleps leading up to a live stream of the 145<sup>th</sup> Kentucky Derby. </p><p>The Gala was a huge success with 240 attendees and a record-breaking year of raising $179,000. Funds raised will directly impact the Family Home Program, Care Coordination Services and the Behavioral Health Clinic in Washington DC. </p><p>During the event John Malcom, Boys Town Washington DC Board Chairman, received the first ever Boys Town Washington DC Father Flanagan Award. This award recognizes and honors those in the community for their commitment to ensuring at-risk youth get the second chance they need to succeed. </p><p>The emcee for the evening was Emmy award-winning journalist and WJLA7 news anchor Michelle Marsh. Former Boys Town youth, Jim St. Germain, was the keynote speaker. Jim is now the co-founder of Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow, Inc. (PLOT), a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring to at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth. He is also the author of the book <em>A Stone of Hope: A Memoir</em>. </p><p>The night was full of fun for all those in attendance, benefitting a great cause. </p><p>"I loved the cheering from the crowd as we watched the horse race live. Plus it was great seeing all of our biggest supporters together in one room," said Wesley Tomlinson, Development Coordinator, Boys Town Washington DC. "I also loved the hats everyone wore! It was a very well-dressed group of people." </p><p>Boys Town Washington DC would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Racing for the Roses Gala. We would also like to recognize our Title Sponsor, The Barber Family Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Boys Town Washington DC can continue to make a lasting difference on the lives of children and families.  <br></p>2019-05-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Racing for the roses" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Banner.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Learn how "Boys Town" is changing the way America cares for children and families Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Learn how "Boys Town" is changing the way America cares for children and families <p> <em>The following news story was covered by Good Morning Washington. It aired on May 1, 2019. </em></p><p>Sheila and Maddie Rogers share how Boys Town has changed their life after Maddie faced a traumatic experience. </p><p><a href="https://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/learn-how-boys-town-is-changing-the-way-america-cares-for-children-and-families" target="_blank">Watch the video</a><br></p> 2019-05-13T05:00:00ZNewsWashington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington D.C. hosts Trunk or Treat Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington D.C. hosts Trunk or Treat <p>On October 30, Boys Town Washington D.C. hosted a Trunk or Treat for the second year. </p><p>Last year the event was exclusively for the Boys Town kids but this year they decided to make it into a community event for everyone to come and partake in the spooky fun and Halloween celebration. </p><p>The turnout for this year included Family Home children, Care Coordination families and community kids. The local Fire Department also stopped by and during their visit they got an emergency call, so the kids got to see the firefighters in action and a lightshow from the firetruck. </p><p>The event was a great way to celebrate Halloween and also raise awareness of Boys Town.</p><p>"Boys Town is all about family and community," said Wesley Tomlinson, Development Coordinator, Boys Town Washington D.C. "Events like this help raise awareness for our mission but also create a safe and fun environment for other families to enjoy. It's always really great seeing all of our children and families come together." </p><p>Costume highlights included Laura Santa-Maria, Director of Family Home Program, Boys Town Washington D.C., who dressed up as a character from the movie Coco, a Family-Teaching couple who brought their daughter dressed as a cute Minnie Mouse and a skeleton from Day of the Dead. </p><p>Thanks to everyone who came out to Boys Town and participated in this year's Halloween celebration. It was spooktacular! </p><p><img src="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/car-1.jpg" alt="Jurrasic Car" style="margin:5px;width:434px;" /><br></p>2018-11-02T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Halloween Trunk or Treat" src="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/car-2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Celebrates Racing for the Roses Gala Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Celebrates Racing for the Roses Gala <p>On Saturday, May 5, Boys Town Washington DC celebrated the 3<sup>rd</sup> annual Racing for the Roses Gala at the Capital Hilton. The event was an opportunity to bring together donors and sponsors of the site to celebrate and of course watch "the most exciting two minutes in sports."</p><p>The evening's proceedings included live jazz music, a hat contest, viewing of the 144<sup>th</sup> Kentucky Derby and both silent and live auctions.</p><p>The 3<sup>rd  </sup>annual Racing for the Roses Gala was a big success, raising  around $125,000 for Boys Town Washington DC , an amount they hope to surpass in future years.</p><p>"We would love to see the event keep growing," said Wesley Tomlinson, Development Coordinator, "We hope to increase community involvement and in turn, boost attendance, helping to spread the mission of Boys Town."</p><p>One of the goals of this year's gala was putting an emphasis on the Behavioral Health Clinic, which has grown exponentially in DC for the past three years since its opening. Director of the Behavioral Health Clinic, Dr. Robert J. Wingfield, had the opportunity to speak to guests at this year's gala – moving a few individuals to tears with his impactful success stories.</p><p>"Here at Boys Town Washington DC we are really focusing on expanding our Behavioral Health Clinic because we are finding a huge need within the community," stated Tomlinson, "and we are working very hard to meet those needs."</p><p>Boys Town Washington DC continues to expand the new Behavioral Health Clinic. In the past year they have hired three new psychologists with the hopes to help and heal over 400 clients this year. The gala was a great opportunity to share this ongoing work with the incredible donors and sponsors of the site.</p><p>Big thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the 3<sup>rd</sup> annual Racing for the Roses Gala! It was an incredible success that brought our supporters together to celebrate what Boys Town is really all about.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing2.jpg" title="Racing for Roses Gala"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing3.jpg" title="Racing for Roses Gala - Big Stuffed Bear"> </a> </div>2018-06-08T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Racing" src="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth <p> <em>​​​​​​​​This story aired on</em> CBS Sunday Morning a<em>nd was posted on <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boys-town-a-beacon-for-troubled-youth/" target="_blank">cbsnews.com</a> on December 25, 2016.</em></p><p> <em>"There's no place like home." Rarely is that truer than this time of year. Our Christmas Cover Story is all about a very special home for some very needy children, as reported by Tony Dokoupil:</em></p><p>Right near the midpoint of America, ten miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska, there's a town that sits between childhood and whatever comes after.</p><p>"These young people are about to become citizens of the most famous village in the world," said Father Stephen Boes at a swearing-in ceremony.</p><p>In this town, almost every kid is at a crossroads -- and the goal of all the grown-ups here is to help kids leave Boys Town behind.</p><p>"I do solemnly promise … that I will be a good citizen."</p><p>Eighteen-year-old Chase Pruss, from Dodge, Neb., was sworn in here six months ago --  arriving, like a lot of the kids, straight from jail.</p><p>"I took the school safe," he said.  "Just for money. For Beer money. And gas money. And buy cigarettes."</p><p>Two more break-ins followed, and Pruss ended up arrested in front of his bewildered parents. "My mom was crying, my dad was crying," he said.</p><p>He had run through four different schools, stolen and lied.</p><p>And he faced 80 years in prison, ​until a judge helped get him into Boys Town. "I ​​had that mindset of, "I never want to ever ​put myself in the position where I could land myself back in an orange jumpsuit," Pruss said. "I never ​wanted my ​jail ID ​number to say ​who I was."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-in-class.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris (right) in class at Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>Seventeen-year-old Andre Harris came to Boys Town the same way.  Nearly three years ago, back in Amarillo, Texas, he stole a car, and ended up in juvenile detention.</p><p>"I didn't feel like I was gonna amount to anything after that," he told Dokoupil.  </p><p>Frankly, he didn't think he'd amount to much <em>before </em>jail, either. College seemed out of reach. He can't remember hearing someone say they were proud of him.</p><p>Dokoupil said of Boys Town, "More felons per capita here than any town in Nebraska."</p><p>"Probably!" Harris laughed. "But we're all doing our best to change."</p><p>Almost every week here at Boys Town, new boys (and since 1979, new girls, too) are sent by social workers, judges and desperate parents. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting in trouble.</p><p>And Boys Town is their last chance.</p><p>"A lot of people would say they're bad kids," Dokoupil said. "Is that how they see themselves when they get here?"</p><p>"Some of our kids do," replied Tony Jones, one of Boys Town's "family teachers." "They see themselves as, you know, on the bottom of the totem pole."</p><p>And how do they change that mindset? "You show them that this is <em>your</em> decision. This is <em>your</em> life."</p><p>Jones and his wife, Simone, run one of 55 homes on campus. Eight Boys Town children live there like a family, alongside the Jones' three biological kids.</p><p>"Every single young man that has come through my home has now become a part of my family," Jones said.</p><p>This is a large part of what makes Boys Town so powerful; all 360 kids living here have paid Boys Town parents like Tony and Simone.</p><p>"It's a professional, full-time Dad, brother, uncle, cousin -- whatever my boys may need me to be at that particular time in their life, that, then, is who I become for them," Jones said.</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-tony-and-simone-jones-and-family.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Tony Jones and his wife, Simone, and three children share their home with eight Boys Town students. CBS News​</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>He began at Boys Town as a boy himself. He was born to a shattered family in Detroit. "I can recall my brother and I standing at a bus stop, and it was in the dead of winter. And we only had one pair of socks to share between the two us," Jones laughed.</p><p>But then a priest gave the Jones brothers a chance to change their lives at Boys Town. "It was a total transformation," he said.</p><p>Dokoupil asked, "Where do you think you would be if you had said no to Boys Town?"</p><p>"Oh, two places: I would either be incarcerated, or I would be dead."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-father-edward-flanagan.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>The Jones story is typical of a hundred years of stories at Boys Town, which began in 1917 as Father Flanagan's Home for Boys. The most beloved clergyman in America, he created arguably the most famous reform school in the world.</p><p>Of his charges, Father Flanagan said, "His bruised and tortured heart and mind must be nursed back to normal health through kindness."</p><p>You may remember a 1938-Oscar winning movie about the place starring Spencer Tracy. But what you probably don't know is it's a real town, with a real post office and police department.</p><p>At about $65,000 per student per year, Boys Town is comparable to a top private college -- and it's mostly taxpayers footing the bill.</p><p>But taxpayers pay for prisons, too -- more than $39 billion a year nationally. Boys Town says it can help keep those prison cells empty, while nearly doubling the chance that these students will graduate from high school.</p><p>Dokoupil asked Jones, "How do you avoid coming in and being just another person telling them all the things they're doing wrong?"</p><p>"By telling them all the things they're doing right," Jones replied. "That's how you help kids change. It's being able to say, 'Hey, young man, you did a good job this morning getting up.'"</p><p>"It almost sounds like a joke."</p><p>"Well, you know something? That little praise goes a long way."</p><p>That little praise goes all the way back to Father Flanagan's ​founding idea: "There are no bad boys."</p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful … well, the results say otherwise.</p><p>When asked where he would be without Boys Town, Chase Pruss replied, "I'd be in lockup." As did another. </p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful, just listen to the results. Tesharr said, "I've been here for a short amount of time. But since my first day I didn't feel like I was in a place where I couldn't leave. I felt like I was home."</p><p>Of course, the Boys Town way does not work for every child who comes here; there are failures. But for Chase's parents, Dan and Trish, it's been nothing short of a Christmas miracle.</p><p>Dokoupil asked them, "Who was Chase before Boys Town and who is he today?"</p><p>"He was dishonest, disrespectful, a thief," said his mother. "And now he is the Chase that I always wanted him to be."</p><p>For Andre Harris, the change has been no less dramatic since stealing that car. "It's not even the same person," he said.</p><p>And how is he different? "My actions, the way I speak. I've grown up. I've become a young man."</p><p>He's a school leader now … a star on the track team … and he's just found out he's headed to college next year. </p><p>But first, he's headed to Amarillo for the holidays … a place he hasn't seen in nearly three years. It's a place that Boys Town has been preparing him for since the very day he made his grand theft exit: </p><p>It's home.</p><p>"This is my Christmas gift," Robert Harris told Dokoupil. "This is all I wanted!"</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-home-in-amarillo.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris is welcomed by neighbors back home in Amarillo, Texas. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> 2016-12-29T06:00:00ZWashington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Washington DC Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Washington DC <p>​​Boys Town Washington DC values employee recognition during the holiday season. Every year, they host an all-staff holiday party for everyone to attend. Each staff member receives an award to recognize their contribution to the mission of Boys Town. One employee from each department is also awarded employee of the year plaques for going above and beyond in their position. </p><p>The Family Homes at Boys Town Washington DC also get in the holiday spirit. Every year, they decorate as a family with lights and festive holiday decorations. A large tree is also decorated that sits in the middle of the circle drive where all the Family Homes are located.​</p>2016-12-29T06:00:00Z<img alt="A table of cookies and cupcakes" src="/news/PublishingImages/010317_DC_Holiday1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Helps Riley Family Stand Tall Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Helps Riley Family Stand Tall <p>Terrina Riley literally had nowhere else to go when she first came to Boys Town Washington DC.</p><p>But today, thanks to the help of Boys Town Family Consultant Kayma Freeman, Terrina and her family are on their way to a healthy recovery.</p><p>Terrina and her children became homeless after they were asked to leave Terrina's father's one-bedroom apartment due to conditions in his lease. With nowhere to live and no transportation, Terrina was at a crossroads. When her children's school attendance became irregular because of the family's situation, Terrina was referred to Boys Town's In-Home Family Services<sup>®</sup> through a program in which Boys Town Washington DC partners with District of Columbia Public Schools. </p><p>Freeman was assigned to the family's case and quickly tapped into community resources so Terrina, son Demaurice and daughter Paris could be placed in an emergency shelter. It wasn't the ideal situation, Freeman said, but it was an important first step in the Riley family's recovery.</p><p>"Ms. Riley was in a tough situation," Freeman said. "Being told to leave her father's apartment was rough on everyone. But when we secured a place for them to stay at the emergency shelter, it changed things. Since they had a place to live, she was able to get transportation for her son to attend school. That was the real start to turning things around."</p><p>With Demaurice attending school regularly, his grades improved dramatically. And thanks to Freeman's help, Terrina was able to look into renting a more permanent residence and apply for a job. She even obtained a learner's permit to drive and is hoping to get her own car.</p><p>Terrina eventually enrolled both of her children in a better school and sought services for her own well-being. Freeman also provided three bags of clothing for Terrina and her children.</p><p>In a note to Freeman, Terrina expressed her appreciation:</p><p> <em>"…You have allowed me to be myself and because of that, I have matured a lot. It's kinda making me emotional because I wish I wouldn't have met you thru truancy because you're just enough to consider a good friend. Am attached to you in a way I don't feel alone now. Am glad you inspired me and my life, now with these clothes… I feel more completed as a woman. Even tho I am shedding tears… They are tears of JOY!!! I just wanted you to know you have made me GROW!!!"</em></p><p>Freeman says Terrina has lofty goals.</p><p>"Ms. Riley has said to me many times that she would love to have her own home where her children can run freely," Freeman said. "She would love to be able to go to school and work to support her and her children. She just wants to stand on her own two feet without having to wait for or rely on anyone."</p><p>With the compassionate guidance of Freeman and Boys Town Washington DC, the door is now open for Terrina to follow that dream. </p>2016-12-28T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Terrina and her kids, Demaurice and Paris, have a brighter future thanks to Boys Town’s help." src="/news/PublishingImages/122816_RileysStory.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#