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Boys Town Helps Family Rebound, Rebond Town Helps Family Rebound, Rebond<p></p><p>Sometimes life throws more challenges and obstacles at a family than the parents and kids can handle.</p><p>That was the situation a mom, a stepdad and their teenage daughter faced when mental health issues and the teen's out-of-control behaviors threatened to unravel their home.</p><p>Fortunately, a referral to Boys Town Nebraska from the daughter's high school, Omaha South, put the family on a positive path to recovery. (Omaha South partners with LIFT Together with Boys Town<sup>SM</sup>, a community-based initiative that offers comprehensive family- and school-based programs to generate community-wide impact.)</p><p>A Boys Town Family Consultant began working with the family in their home, first addressing the daughter's behavioral issues: verbal aggression; negative interactions with adults and classmates, school absences, low grades, depression, substance use and running away from home. As part of the intervention, the teen got a part-time job and began using Omaha South's positive intervention classroom (PIC). In this program, students who have been suspended can work with staff members to make up school assignments, stay current with homework and prepare to return to the classroom once the suspension is over.</p><p>The Family Consultant then helped arrange mental health services for mom and her daughter. Mom and the stepdad also completed Boys Town's six-week Common Sense Parenting® class, where they were able to build on their parenting strengths and learn new skills.  </p><p>When the Family Consultant started working with the family, the mom was desperate for help because she felt she had lost complete control over her daughter. In addition, mom's self-esteem was very low. At the end of the program, mom was able to set expectations for her daughter's behavior and give consequences to reinforce positive behaviors and correct negative behaviors. They both learned how to stay calm when talking about issues, and then work together to resolve them. All of these changes have helped the daughter be more respectful of her parents and have enabled mom and stepdad to become more confident in their parenting.</p><p>Every family has its tough times. Boys Town Nebraska is always there to help.​<br></p>2020-09-22T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Zapata Takes Pride in Finding a Way to Help Children, Families in South Omaha Takes Pride in Finding a Way to Help Children, Families in South Omaha<p></p><p>Versatility has become a strength for Jose Zapata in his role as a Parent Trainer in Boys Town's Lift Together program in South Omaha.</p><p>But who would have known that being able to play a little basketball and making someone laugh would help get through to kids and parents and point them on the path to success?</p><p>Zapata has used both in his ever-changing roles at Boys Town. And he is more than willing to try more if it helps him reach his goal of helping kids and families.</p><p>Zapata says he has had the opportunity to learn and grow at Boys Town with many professional development opportunities provided while training for each new position he has held.</p><p>He started as an Assistant-Family Teacher, working with youth living on campus. The goal was to have kids successfully complete the program and transition back home. He then worked with kids on probation as an In-Home Consultant to keep them from being removed from the home. He then transitioned to work with non-system families seeking help with their kids' behaviors before they escalated to the point of going to court. All that training and experience helped him reach his current role as a Parent Trainer in Common Sense Parenting (CSP) classes.</p><p>Zapata will soon complete training in the Well-Managed Classrooms program. He will then support a colleague in a newly-created position within Omaha South High school. They will work directly with students in the LIFT Together with Boys Town program, which is built to serve both youth and families in a bridge with the school.</p><p>Zapata's adaptation to his job has been a challenge during the pandemic. He has been able to continue teaching CSP classes virtually, a first for Boys Town. When he isn't teaching an online class to parents, he is contacting other non-profits in the community to collaborate with and to seek possible referrals for his classes.</p><p>When working with kids and families, Zapata says he often needs to be creative in order to get his clients to buy in. It can be a challenge, to say the least.</p><p>“Lots of times, youth have no interest in talking to me, much less meeting on a consistent basis," Zapata said. “I had to get creative with my approach to get the youth to engage. When my humor didn't work, I would beat them on the basketball court. That usually got their attention because they didn't expect me to be any good. I'm by no means great, but I can hold my own."</p><p>He also used his humor to get through to parents</p><p>“Disengaged parents was another big challenge," he said. “Parents sometimes don't recognize that they contribute to the problem. They don't believe they need to participate in services. Many parents eventually came around through my approach, again usually with humor, and saw the benefit in working with me. No, I didn't challenge any parents to a basketball game."</p><p>Zapata says it is satisfying when he can get youth and parents to work together, all with a common goal.</p><p>“While working as an In-Home Consultant, I had a case with a youth on probation for not attending school. He was reluctant to work with me at first and he didn't follow rules at home, either. He was also self-medicating with drugs and alcohol," Zapata said. “His mom was willing to do what was needed to help her son be successful, and that included looking in the mirror and admitting that she needed to make some changes as well."</p><p>Zapata used all of Boys Town's teaching resources. Thanks to those services, the youth stopped using drugs and alcohol, began attending an alternative school consistently, and started respecting his mom's rules. His mother began to utilize the positive discipline strategies she learned, began to trust her son more and held him accountable so he could learn responsibility. Their relationship improved dramatically, he successfully completed probation and is on track to graduate with his class. By the end of the youth's services, he was willing to speak openly and work with Zapata. The judge in the youth's case sent a letter to Zapata stating how impressed he was with the youth's success and praised Zapata's work.</p><p>Seeing that success, motivates Zapata to help others.</p><p>“I enjoy the opportunity to help families with their respective problems and help them find success," he said. “I find it fulfilling to help a family problem-solve through stressful situations in their lives. Whether I worked directly with a struggling youth or a struggling youth's family, it's great to see the positive progress and achievements throughout our services."</p><p>Zapata says he is proud to work at Boys Town.​<br></p><p><br></p>2020-09-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/zapata-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/zapata.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town North Florida Youth Create Canvas Art for National Hall of History Town North Florida Youth Create Canvas Art for National Hall of History<p></p><p>During the COVID-19 outbreak, Boys Town North Florida Family Home youth and staff have remained on campus quarantining for months to avoid any contact to the virus. As the youth practiced social distancing and quickly adjusted to virtual curriculum, the opportunity arose to provide a creative outlet in a campus-wide art project.</p><p>The first week of May we entered our eighth week of quarantine and Family Homes reported one day at a time to the ART Town facility for youth to create acrylic pour canvas paintings. Each house chose a distinct color-pallet theme and worked to create a unique set of paintings. The Family Homes chose themes of Sunset, Ocean, Warm-Tones, Nature, and Space. Some youth commented that this activity reminded them of being back at school in art class. Others commented they were surprised and impressed with their creation. Once their works of art were complete, each child wrote a description of the creative process. Some mentioned their inspiration for their canvas and others elaborated what their art made them think and feel.</p><p>Danyia described the process as, "My picture took a lot of precision, hard work, and following instructions. These skills can get you far ahead in life."</p><p>Boys Town North Florida is hoping to send one painting from each individual theme to be displayed at the Boys Town Hall of History. By submitting a canvas-set to the Hall of History, they will display their youth's resiliency and creativity, even during a confusing and unprecedented time.​<br></p>2020-09-21T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Danvia" src="/about/PublishingImages/danvia.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Resiliency celebrated at 2020 Youth Awards Banquet celebrated at 2020 Youth Awards Banquet<p>​​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​Each year, Boys Town North Florida celebrates the success and achievements of the 30 boys and girls in its Family Home program by hosting a Youth Award's Banquet. This occasion also marks when each child is officially granted citizenship into Boys Town. Typically, a formal affair consisting of red carpets, limousines, tuxes, gowns and a room full of people, this year looked a bit different due to, you guessed it, Covid-19. But the show must go on, and indeed it did in a less formal but just as fun and festive way.</span></p><p>Confined to campus, the development and Family Home staff were committed to keeping many of the same elements of the Youth Awards Banquet while adding a few new twists to keep the<br>kids engaged. Celebrating the end of summer and beginning of school, a luau theme was chosen to allow the kids to celebrate outdoors while battling the 90-degree Florida heat. Several kids were seen sporting Hawaiian attire which added to the evening's festivities. Don't let anyone tell you these kids don't know how to have a good time – they came with some serious swagger! </p><p>​Socially distancing in one corner of the tent was Boys Town friend and supporter DJ Willie Brown who kept the evening moving with his jovial commentary and the latest tunes familiar to the kids -- but not the staff. Dancing, laughter and big, bright, beautiful smiles were evident throughout the evening. Carrabba's Italian Grill provided an italian feast, followed by a surprise appearance by Momma P's ice cream truck where the kids could select not just one, but TWO treats each. Everyone took advantage of that sweet deal, including many staff. With bellies full, the best was yet to come.</p><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Resiliency-celebrated-at-2020-Youth-Awards-Banquet/Brooklyn%20Parrish%20with%20Marcus.jpg" alt="Brooklyn Parrish with Marcus.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:400px;" />The most anticipated aspect of the evening is the awards given to the kids which are carefully chosen by the Family Home Program director and staff. Certificates are given out in several categories to include Upward Bound, Set for Success, Best Sense of Humor, Most Considerate, Most Courageous and Leaps and Bounds, to name a few. Other awards in which a trophy is given include Character Counts, Junior Ambassador, Youth of the Year and Ambassador of the Year. To cap off the evening, we present the James Dahl Spirit of Youth Academic Award, which this year went to Miss Brooklyn Parrish in the Mackley home.</p><p>In a year where resiliency is key, the kids of Boys Town North Florida have shown grit, determination and a willingness to adapt which has allowed them to cope despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. We couldn't be prouder to celebrate their achievements!​<br></p>2020-09-21T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Citizen Ceremony" src="/about/PublishingImages/citizens%20ceremony%20outdoors.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
30 Years of Serving the Las Vegas Community Years of Serving the Las Vegas Community<p><strong>Dear Community Partners,</strong></p><p>This coming year, 2021, will mark an exciting milestone for Boys Town Nevada as we celebrate 30 years of service to the Las Vegas community. </p><p>As we look back at the past 30 years of supporting children and families, we are beyond grateful for the support the Nevada community has shown along the way. We are proud of what we've accomplished together in the interest of helping local families. Throughout 2021, we will come together to celebrate and recognize many of our leaders, partners, and supporters through the years. </p><p>We will also be looking forward as we strive to continue to serve the many children and families who still need support. That is why we are thrilled to be launching the 30th Anniversary Campaign for Behavioral Change.</p><p>In keeping with our mission, this campaign seeks to support our continued efforts to save children and heal families in Southern Nevada. Over the years, our program focus has grown and evolved to ensure that we are maximizing our resources to keep children safe, families whole, and make our community stronger. We remain committed to serving the communities who need our services most, and to changing the landscape of behavioral health and education in Southern Nevada. </p><p>In recent years our local programs have shifted to take on a prevention and early intervention model, and to be able to impact more children and families each and every year. The LIFT Together program addresses urgent needs among schools, students, and their families.</p><p>Nevada's public schools are consistently ranked near the bottom in state measurement categories by major education-centered news organizations. Of the 73 schools on the Nevada Department of Education's list of underperforming schools, 47 are part of Clark County School District. Those 47 schools serve more than 46,000 students. Educators have the responsibility to improve school performance, but from our experience, we know that stable homes and supportive families are equally important for the success of individual students. Simply put, schools cannot succeed when students' families are failing. </p><p>This is where Boys Town Nevada can help. </p><p>Las Vegas is an amazing city with much to offer, but accessible mental health services hasn't always made the list. The Department of Health & Human Services has designated most of Nevada as a health professional shortage area. There simply are not enough doctors and mental health providers to meet the demand.</p><p>In 2020, with a growing waiting list of three to six months, and more requests for specialized services amidst the coronavirus pandemic, our Behavioral Health Clinic initiated an expansion plan. In our 30th year, we will grow our team of licensed psychologists to serve more youth, and provide a broader scope of diagnostic and treatment services in a landscape that is lacking.</p><p>Each year, child welfare officials in Clark County receive about 10,500 reports of child abuse or neglect, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services. These families are slipping through cracks in the system – cracks that our programs can fill.</p><p>As if these community issues weren't pressing enough, the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic has only exacerbated these issues for many already struggling families. Children have been home from school for months. Stress for many of these families is at an all-time high, with social safety nets and support systems seemingly out of reach. Mental health services, educational assistance, and community support are needed now more than ever. </p><p><strong>In the coming months you will receive more information on our anniversary Campaign for Behavioral Change. We hope you will join us as we work to change the lives of children and families in our community for the next 30 years, and beyond.</strong></p><p><strong>Partners in Change,</strong></p><p>John Etzell</p><p> <img src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Johns-E-Signature.jpg" alt="John Etzell - e-Signature" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p>Executive Director<br>Boys Town Nevada</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Employee Spotlight: April Cruda Spotlight: April Cruda<p>As the demand for imperative services has continued to grow throughout this pandemic, so does Boys Town Nevada's staff.</p><p>This Spring, April Cruda joined Boys Town Nevada as our Graduate Intern. Currently finishing her Master's degree in Public Health at UNLV, April was searching to join an organization and mission that spoke to her passions and career interests. </p><p> “I found passion in doing community work, health promotion, and prevention," April said. “Couple that with my love for kids, and you've got my dream job -- working with children's wellness."</p><p> Starting her new role with Boys Town during quarantine wasn't necessarily easy, but April connected with the work being done by Boys Town Nevada and eagerly jumped in to make an impact at a time when it was most definitely needed.</p><p>“Not to mention," said April, “all of the staff at this organization genuinely cares, and loves what they do, and it shows! There is nothing better than being part of a team that cares about what they do and treats each other well."</p><p>Originally from San Jose, California, April moved to Las Vegas three years ago to begin her master's program at UNLV, which she will complete at the end of 2020. She is also currently working for UNLV and the Southern Nevada Health District to help with COVID response and contact tracing, playing an imperative role in a critical moment in history.</p><p>April works on a variety of projects with Boys Town Nevada, from helping to plan and execute community resource events and fundraising events, to working with our School Support team to prepare what will surely be another unprecedented year. When the pandemic is over, you can be sure to find April singing her heart out at a local Karaoke spot, specializing in Disney tunes!</p><p>Boys Town Nevada is grateful to have had April join our team and can't wait to see her many contributions to public health and the community!</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="April Cruda - Boys Town Nevada" src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/April-Cruda-picture.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Nevada LIFT Together Program Helping Kids and Families During Virtual Learning Town Nevada LIFT Together Program Helping Kids and Families During Virtual Learning<p>“Back to School" looks very different for families here in Nevada this fall as the Clark County School District has opted for full-time virtual learning amidst the coronavirus pandemic. </p><p>Boys Town Nevada has also made changes and adjustments to continue to serve kids and families through our LIFT Together program, an initiative that sees Boys Town partner with local schools to address behavioral challenges both in the classroom and at home. Our School Support Specialists may not be physically on campus, but they are still supporting students and their families. </p><p>Through flexibility, and with the assistance of technology, Boys Town Nevada staff has found ways to continue to provide the imperative services that LIFT Together encompasses. Staff are working face-to-face with families to ensure they have the materials and infrastructure for their children to learn at home. Our Family Consultants work with families to set up schedules for home schooling, and to continue to work on parenting skills and address behavioral issues, including truancy.</p><p>Staff will also be hosting Virtual Social Skills Groups, bringing students together in a safe and distanced capacity. Additionally, Boys Town trainers will provide specialized virtual trainings to teachers on how to identify students who may need additional support and services.</p><p>Boys Town's staff remains committed to serving children and families in our community and maintain a flexible approach to program administration during these challenging times. To learn more about LIFT Together and Boys Town's other programs, contact Jessica Sasso at <a href=""></a>.</p>2020-09-16T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Follow Carlatta and Kaye’s Journey with Boys Town Nevada Carlatta and Kaye’s Journey with Boys Town Nevada<p>Kaye is a smart, sweet, vivacious young girl, but she was struggling. She'd been in and out of multiple foster homes and was desperate for attention and affection. When Carlatta took Kaye in, she was hopeful it would turn out to be Kaye's forever home, but after all Kaye had been through, behavioral issues continued. It was at that point that a Boys Town School Support Specialist working at Kaye's school recognized her struggles and recommended her family work with an In-Home Family Consultant.  </p><p>Carlatta was hesitant to let a stranger into her home. But she found Ashley, the Boys Town Consultant, to be warm, focused and helpful. Over the course of three-plus months Ashley worked with Carlatta and Kaye, helping them to build upon their strengths, and finding tools to help address challenges. Slowly but surely, Kaye's behavior improved, and Carlatta's comfort in being a hands-on parent to Kaye grew. </p><p>Working with Boys Town provided guidance and tools at a time when Carlatta says she felt hopeless.  With new parenting skills and a new perspective, Carlatta officially adopted Kaye earlier this year, providing the love and consistency that Kaye had been searching for.     </p><p>See Carlatta and Kaye's journey with Boys Town here.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="" width="640" height="235" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div>2020-09-15T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Carlatta and Kaye" src="/locations/nevada/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Carlatta-and-Kaye.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Louisiana and Executive Director Receive Special Recognition Town Louisiana and Executive Director Receive Special Recognition<p></p><p>The publication<em> New Orleans CityBusiness</em> annually recognizes 50 women whose successes in business and contributions to the community have made them leaders in the region. It also recognizes five nonprofit organizations that have gone above and beyond in serving the needs of local women, children, and the community.</p><p>Boys Town Louisiana has been honored as one of the five nonprofit organizations of the year. And its Executive Director, Rashain Carriere-Williams, has also been named one of the 50 honorees.</p><p>Carriere-Williams said she takes pride in both honors.</p><p>“It is an honor and a privilege that Boys Town Louisiana has been recognized as one of the top five 2020 Nonprofits in the area and that I have been selected as an honoree for CityBusiness Woman of the Year," she said.</p><p>Carriere-Williams became Boys Town Louisiana's executive director in 2019. She had many plans for the site – but then came the coronavirus pandemic and many weather events that carried negative consequences.</p><p>“We were positioning ourselves to make a bigger impact in the New Orleans community," Carriere-Williams said. “However, never did I imagine that our community would face these types of challenges."</p><p>She said she is proud of the site's and the city's accomplishments.</p><p>“The New Orleans community is a vibrant city with a rich history. And we have risen above challenges before," she said. “It has been a blessing to witness how we came together to respond to the needs of our citizens, especially at the height of the pandemic. Boys Town Louisiana was able to partner with local leaders, other nonprofits, and for-profit businesses to meet the needs of our citizens. I am blessed to be a part of a team that has dedicated themselves to taking care of the most vulnerable residents of our community."</p><p>She said Boys Town Louisiana remains a strong leader, especially after it was once again hit by severe weather from two recent hurricanes.</p><p>“The Louisiana team exhibited the same level of commitment during hurricane Katrina," Carriere-Williams said. “And 15 years later, I am proud to say that this team has retained that same tenacity."</p><p>She said she is proud of the recognition for Boys Town Louisiana.</p><p>“I am humbled and honored to be named by <em>CityBusiness</em> as a Woman of the Year honoree," she said. “But I am even prouder to be part of the Boys Town Louisiana team that was also named as one of just five Nonprofit honorees."​<br></p><p>A special publication spotlighting all Women of the Year and Nonprofit Leader honorees will run in the November 20 issue of <em>New Orleans CityBusiness.</em></p><p>A noon luncheon to celebrate all honorees and announce an overall Woman of the Year is scheduled for Monday, November 9, at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency.<span style="background-color:transparent;">​​</span></p>2020-09-09T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Home Campus Football Stadium Receives Upgraded Bleachers and New Press Box Town Home Campus Football Stadium Receives Upgraded Bleachers and New Press BoxSocial distancing just got a little easier for the Boys Town Cowboys this fall thanks to a generous donation from the Boys Town Booster Club. The long-awaited football stadium renovations at Home Campus are now complete – just in time for fall sports to begin. With upgraded bleachers and press box, the Boys Town community can safely come together and cheer on the Cowboys.With the last few months being a little less than normal, the youth were excited to take part in the renovations by voting on a new logo for the press box and being able to watch the process throughout the summer. With renovations completed, Boys Town Mayor Hazakiah and Boys Town Vice Mayor Hailey got a sneek peek tour of the new bleachers, press box and logo.Getting to tour the renovated stadium made both Hazakiah and Hailey even more excited to get back to fall sports. "I am so happy to be in football and I can't wait to play again," said Hazakiah. "We have been watching the construction from our house and we are excited for Friday nights," said Hailey.</p><p>Sports on campus play a big role not only for the students, but also for the community. It gives the youth the opportunity to do what they love, fans a reason to cheer, and the community a chance to come together and be a part of something great. </p><p><img /><br></p><p> "My favorite thing about sports at Boys Town is the relationship with the coaches. They try to bring everybody together and make it like a family. We are brothers at Boys Town," said Lebron who is a member of the football, wrestling, and track teams.</p><p>In addition to building camaraderie and a youth's confidence, there is also great therapeutic value in being involved in an any extracurricular activities. Preparing for a season and practicing daily helps build valuable life skills that youth can continue to use after their time at Boys Town.</p><p>The first football game at the renovated Cowboys stadium was on August 28 against Columbus Lakeview. "The field looks way better than it did last year," said TJ, who has been at Boys Town for eight months and is on the football team. "I just can't wait to play on it."</p><p>Thank you to our generous boosters who have made these upgrades possible and for everyone who has been involved in the renovation process. Good luck Boys Town athletes!</p><p><strong><em>PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with NSAA (Nebraska School Activities Association) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines, attendance at all Boys Town home and away athletic competitions will be reserved to current Boys Town residents and essential personnel only.  Reducing spectators allows for social distancing and additional safety precautions.   This is a very important step to keep our athletes and residents safe. </em></strong></p><p><br></p>2020-09-03T05:00:00ZNews<img />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent

Kara Neuverth
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Jordan Weinandt
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