Troubled Youth Gets Wake Up Call that Propels Her to Build a Better Future

When Sheyla came to Boys Town New England in 2021, she struggled with anger and reckless behavior.  This conduct left her facing criminal charges at only 15 years old. She was placed in the Family Home Program where she established a bond with her Senior Assistant Family-Teacher, Amaury Tavarez.

“Sheyla met some natural consequences after not doing well on her visits going back home," said Tavarez. “This woke something in her, after realizing she needed to hold herself accountable. Sheyla began to take responsibility for her actions, made better choices and chose better friends. She focused on bringing her grades up, self-correcting her own behaviors and set goals for herself."

Sheyla said Boys Town helped her learn how to help herself.

“The best part of being at Boys Town is that I've learned skills that help keep me safe," said Sheyla. “I'm now better able to control myself and walk away from situations, controlling my impulsive behavior. I've created a new community for myself, made up of positive influences, friends, my youth group at church and a job where I'm appreciated, and everyone treats me nicely."

Sheyla said she realizes how much Boys Town has helped her change.

“If I hadn't come to Boys Town, I'd probably be dead or in prison," she said. “I have a network of staff at Boys Town for support that I can go to for advice, and they help me realize my personal goals."

Marcy Shyllon, Senior Director of Program Operations, gives credit to Sheyla for taking the resources she has been given and making the most of them.

“Sheyla came to Boys Town with outstanding character, high intelligence and a drive to succeed," Shyllon said. “Boys Town didn't make Sheyla who she is today. Boys Town simply provided an environment that removed her from previous distractions and influences that didn't set her up for success and allowed her to focus on herself and display the worth and value she's carried all along. She is doing amazing." ​