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College-Bound Youth Grateful to Those Who Believed in Him

Robert was an only child raised by a mother who had severe health problems. This sometimes kept her from parenting Robert properly and holding a steady job. Growing up in a poor home without much supervision, Robert did what he wanted when he wanted.

At age 15, Robert had already been arrested twice for stealing. Those arrests, as well as truancy issues and problems at home with his mom, landed Robert in the social services system.

Eventually, a judge decided Robert would have his best opportunity for a turnaround as a resident of the Boys Town Family Home Program SM.

When Robert arrived at his Family Home in the Village of Boys Town, Nebraska, he was unhappy and defiant. He was used to getting his way and constantly butted heads with his Family-Teachers ®, Tony and Kirstin. He struggled with accepting their authority and with the structure, routine, and rules of his new home and new school.

But Tony and Kirstin patiently and consistently continued to care for Robert, teaching him new skills and ways of behaving – even when he didn’t want any part of it.

After about six months, their persistence began to pay off. Robert started to see that Tony and Kirstin wanted him to be happy and healthy, and to have a chance to succeed in life.

He began to work much harder in the home and at school.

By the end of his junior year in high school, Robert’s self-confidence began to soar. He made the honor roll, played sports, and held a part-time job.

At that time, Robert had the option to return home, but he, his mother, and his caseworker all agreed it would be best for him to remain at Boys Town and graduate.

Robert repeated his honor roll performance during his senior year and earned a scholarship to a local community college. He’s decided he wants to be a teacher.

At graduation, Robert told Tony and Kirstin they are like family to him and thanked them for not giving up on him. He also told his mother he loved her and that he was grateful that she had helped get his life back on track.

Everyone had believed in Robert. Now Robert is thriving because he believes in himself.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.