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Boys Town New York, East Harlem Collaboration Benefits More Students and Families

An innovative new partnership between Boys Town New York and the East Harlem community is making a real difference in the lives of families.

In 2014, as part of an ongoing effort to expand our services across the City, Boys Town New York joined with Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation to bring our proven strategies around parenting, education and community engagement to their students and families. 

In just over a year, 80 percent of participating students have shown improvements in attendance and classroom behavior. Yet, while the numbers speak for themselves, the stories and people behind them are even more powerful. Boys Town is working with a population sorely in need. They are students at risk of dropping or aging out of the system, young men and women who are close to falling behind and seeking stability during times of emotional and personal turbulence. Only an uncertain future united them, with many vulnerable to repeat a pattern of lifetime volatility.

While their reasons for referral to Boys Town are different, our approach is always the same: to serve as compassionate, honest partners every step of the way. We work closely with parents and students to coordinate a network of services and programs to better structure both in-home and school environments. Positioning our staff as stakeholders in their success has quickly built trust and rapport as families see our continuum of care strengthening their relationships. Working from the inside out, we cooperate with the entire community to grow awareness and participation in Boys Town system of services.

All this could not be possible without willing partners. Boys Town has come away invigorated by all at Innovation High, whose commitment to students is beyond impressive. The students themselves are often happy to have an ally who is walking the walk and opening up their future to new possibilities and promises. Parents are applying new skills and are empowered to build up-- instead of break down-- important relationships.

Word is also getting out about our success. Tahisha Lue-Hing, Program Director, reports that a local middle school and another high school have already inquired about bringing Boys Town teams to their networks.

Boys Town New York and Innovation High have inspired new commitments to education that will echo for generations. This is just one step in a long journey to help all those in need across New York City by replicating our achievements throughout additional schools and communities in the years to come.