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Saving Children

Every Child Deserves a Second Chance

Imagine living in fear every day. Fear of abuse. Fear of being bullied or feeling suicidal because life seems hopeless. At Boys Town, we’ve been dedicated to saving children like these for more than 100 years. We offer hope, opportunities and a future for at-risk and struggling youth by helping them to grow into well-adjusted young adults. 

The stories included below are from youth who come from all over the country to find hope and healing at Boys Town. Each year, Boys Town programs impact the lives of more than 2 million people across the United States.  From our residential Family Homes and foster care to our mental and behavioral health and pediatric clinics to our national crisis hotline, saving children is at the core of our mission.

Safety and Success: Luke’s Story
Now as an actor, stunt man and wrestler, Luke Hawx uses his fame to support the institution he loves.
Watch His Story
Pushing Boundaries
Today, Amanda owns her own business and works for both the NFL and the NBA! She credits her Family-Teachers with her amazing transformation.
Watch Her Story
Turning the Corner: Laura's Story
In high school, Laura's painful struggle with mental illness put her in a constant battle with suicidal thoughts. Most days, she wanted nothing more than to end her life.
Watch her story
Finding Her Future: Ja'Maiya's Story
When Ja'Maiya arrived at Boys Town, she had already suffered a lifetime of loss, beginning with her Mom when she was a baby and later, her Grandmother who raised her.
Watch Ja'Maiya's Story
Revitalized: DeAngelo's Story
DeAngelo grew up fast on the dangerous streets of Baltimore. But even at an early age, he felt that it was important for him to provide for himself as much as possible and not be a burden on his family.
Watch DeAngelo's Story
Wacky Winter Games at Boys Town
The spirit of joy and playfulness filled the air at Boys Town during winter break, featuring some wacky winter games, including Human Hungry, Hungry Hippos! 
2023 Year in Review
Thanks to an incredible community of supporters, Boys Town's mission of transforming lives continues to thrive.  Watch our 2023 year in review video.
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Finding Faith
Our founder, Father Flanagan’s faith-driven vision still guides Boys Town today. With a strong spiritual foundation, children can heal and find strength for the rest of their lives.
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Flourishing: Jennifer's Story
As a young girl, Jennifer never really fit in. This was especially true when it came to school. Her grades were poor, and it was often a struggle just to get her to attend.
Watch Jennifer's Video
Resilience: Tanner's Story
Tanner has never had it easy. He was abused as a child, became addicted to drugs at a young age and was kicked out of his house. Boys Town was a rough adjustment but when one of his mentors believed in him, he began to believe in himself.
Watch Tanner's Story
Her Last Hope: Moniece's Story
After suffering through unspeakable abuse, Moniece fled from multiple foster placements, landed in juvenile detention and eventually found Boys Town North Florida.
Moniece's Story
Colton's Success Story
Sometimes everything just works towards a greater good, even when you can't see that at the beginning. When Colton landed at Boys Town, he was a kid in need of support and healing.
Watch Colton's Story
Paying it Forward: Kelsey's Story
Kelsey was stunned by her parents’ divorce and internalized her pain, frustration and anger. Unable to express her feelings, she began acting out. Find out how she paved a new path and found a career that allows her to give back.
Watch Kelsey's Video
Giving Back to the Next Generation: Rasheed's Story
Rasheed's Boys Town story started on March 1st, 2010, when he arrived at Boys Town after having been expelled from high school. Running with the wrong crowd and making poor choices had landed him somewhere he wasn't thrilled to be.
Watch Rasheed's Story
A Change of Heart: Kehinde's Story
Living in a neighborhood where violence and shootings were a daily occurrence, Kehinde had quit attending school and had an “it's-all-about-me" attitude when he arrived a Boys Town.
Kehinde's Story
A Special Bond: Twins and Boys Town
Hazakiah and Vivica grew up in a gritty Bronx neighborhood. The siblings were raised to resist the dangers of city life. But drugs, gangs and crime were a constant presence.
Watch Their Story
Opportunity: Josh's Story
Born to drug-addicte​d parents and in and out of foster care from the age of three onward, Josh eventually became the quarterback of the Boys Town football team and a natural leader in his Family Home.
Watch Josh's Story

Every Child's Story is Different

Hailey’s Story

Boys Town means the world to Hailey…it’s her home and family. It’s the place where her heart softened and where she recaptured the joy and lightness of childhood. Boys Town is where she transformed herself and her future.

Jafar’s Story

Jafar’s life before Boys Town was chaotic and unstable. Once he found himself at Boys Town, Jafar discovered the security, love and consistency he'd always needed. He also found the family, happiness and security he'd never had.

Jennifer’s Story

As a young girl, Jennifer was violated by a trusted family member. Traumatized by the event, she turned to alcohol as an escape. Eventually Jennifer’s mother made the decision to send her to Boys Town.

Tyler’s Story

Tyler's early life in New York was beyond difficult. He and his family moved from one burned-out drug house to another. Things got so bad at home that he slept on the subway trains at night. 

Words of Gratitude

Before Boys Town, I had no thought of graduating from high school…now I have a whole plan for my future!

Ryan, Boys Town Graduate

Boys Town changed who I wanted to be as a person.

Holly, Boys Town Graduate
Teaching Love
The kids that come to Boys Town don’t have to imagine it. Neglect and abuse are common for our kids. They come from backgrounds filled with poverty, substance abuse and mental health problems.
Watch The Story
Summer at Boys Town
In many ways, summer at Boys Town is similar to summer anywhere else. Kids and families go on outings and picnics, play sports and attend camps. At Boys Town, though, the families include up to eight kids from all over the country.
Watch Summer at Boys Town
Dreams Begin Here
We love that the kids at Boys Town leave with dreams because so many of them came to us burdened with nightmares. Boys Town was founded on a dream.
Watch The Story
Homecoming: Andre's Story
​​Andre's life was out of control. He was disobedient, defiant and failing in school. After getting caught stealing the family car, he came to Boys ​Town.
Watch Andre's Story
Arrival: Jennifer's Story
Jennifer's life didn't truly come into focus until she came to Boys Town. ​​Once she accepted her new circumstances, she quickly realized how lucky she was to be part of a loving, caring family.
Watch Jennifer's Success Story
Rebuilding: Elias' Story
Elias remembers his biological mother getting drunk and throwing him down the stairs. After running to the neighbors for help, Elias was placed in foster care.
Watch Elias' Story
If I Hadn't Come to Boys Town
For over 100 years now, children from all over America have been saying these exact words. Father Flanagan knew that “his boys" were being abandoned by parents and failed by the “youth justice" system of the day.
Watch Video
Getting Involved at Boys Town
Boys Town offers numerous campus activities that not only help keep kids out of trouble but also teach them valuable life skills.
Getting Involved
Friendship and Brotherhood at Boys Town
Three Boys Town graduates describe how friendship and brotherhood changed their lives. This fall, they begin a new journey as college students. See how their special bond helped them make their dreams come true!
Watch The Story
Achievement: Andy's Story
Growing up in the gang-infested streets of Chicago, Andy learned to fight at an early age. Eventually, his aggressive behavior landed him in juvenile detention.
Watch Andy's Achievement
Resolve: Azahel's Story
Growing up on the gang-controlled streets of Santa Ana, California, Azahel saw his future in stark terms: join or die. His home life wasn't much better, facing an abusive mother who favored his brothers over her youngest son.
Watch Azahel's Story
Transformation: Isaac's Story
Isaac seemed destined for a future of poverty and crime. This feeling of hopelessness eventually led him to commit a serious act of violence, one that haunts him to this day.
Watch Isaac's Story
Giving Back: Piper's Story
​Raised in poverty and abused by her father and brother, Piper went to foster care at age 10. Two years later, she came to Boys Town, scared and quiet, but found her voice and her confidence through the love and support she found here.
Watch Piper's Story
Escape: Miketazia's Story
Sexually abused as a young girl by a close and trusted relative, Miketazia came to Boys Town broken, guarded and vulnerable.
Watch Miketazia's Story
Perseverance: Sommer's Story
​Sommer's biological mother and ​father were addicts who would ​often leave her and her siblings alone or ​with strangers when they went out looking for drugs.
Watch Her Story

Family Teaching

Family-Teachers are the backbone of Boys Town’s Family Home Program. Family-Teaching couples care for six to eight youth living together as a family in one of our Family Homes. This is a rewarding and sometimes daunting task, but Family-Teachers don’t go it alone and are specially trained for their role with around-the-clock support.

Connection: Colbi's Story
​​Unhappy in her tiny hometown, 13-year-old Colbi was skipping school and dating an older guy. She even turned to self-harm to escape her challenges.
Watch Her Story
Victory: DT's Story
DeTerrence, DT to his friends, grew up in a tough urban neighborhood surrounded by gang violence. His own mother is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed by a stray bullet that struck her in her own front yard.
Watch His Story
Finding Her Way: Carley's Story
After ​losing her mom at a young age, Carley was moved around from place to place. It wasn't until she got to Boys Town that she finally had a place to call home.
Watch Her Story
Okoboji Story
Boys Town's Camp Okojobi
Boys Town Family vacations to Camp Okoboji are filled with swimming, boating and sunshine as the kids and their family teachers take a well-deserved summertime break — for many, this is the first family vacation they've ever experienced.
Watch Their Story
Girls Sports
Girls, Sports and Boys Town
Many of our girls suffered severe mistreatment or neglect before coming to Boys Town. As a result, they may feel alone and insignificant. We use sports as a tool to build up their confidence and self-esteem.
Watch Their Story
Graduation Speech
Help Turn a Child's Heartbreak into Hope
​​​​​​​​Our boys and girls have a lot of lessons to learn before they can find healing. Many come here with heavy hearts, carrying years of painful memories ... scarred by those who should have loved them most.
Watch the Story
Rejuvenation: Jessy's Story
​​Jessy grew up in poverty, forced to raise her two younger sisters who witnessed the sexual, emotional and physical abuse she endured while trying to keep them safe.
Watch Her Story
Success: Gavin's Story
​​​​Recently expelle​d from middle school, Gavin came to Boys Town a troubled and angry young man. Once here, he ​​found his focus and developed a love for helping those in need.
Watch His Story
Catalyst of Change: Lily's Story
Growing up on the mean streets of Chicago, simply making it through the day alive and in one piece was a victory for young Lily. Thankfully, she found Boys Town, which gave her the tools and support she needed to succeed.
Watch Her Story
competes with character
Competing with Character
Teaching children how to deal with winning is almost as important as teaching them how to deal with losing. It’s also important for them to learn ​how to deal with injury, performance pressure and balancing academics and athletics.
Watch the Story
playing in band
Letting Kids Be Kids
​Boys Town provides a safe place for children who have been abandoned and often abused. We integrate them into a family, teach them social skills and help them catch up with their education. But we also encourage them to be kids and to participate in
Watch the Story
Boys Town Journeys
At Boys Town campuses all across America, kids who have fallen through the cracks of society are being given a ​second chance, armed with the tools and skills they need to become happy, productive members of society. ​But it's a journey, not an insta
Watch Their Stories
Better Days Ahead: Nick's Story
As a teen, Nick struggled with severe anxiety, which affected how he interacted with friends and family. He came to Boys Town at 17 and quickly began to heal with the support and love he received during his stay.
Watch His Story
Paying it Forward Sonya's Story
​​As a child, Sonya remembers spending many nights in emergency rooms. It wasn't because she and her siblings were sick or prone to accidents. It was because they needed a place to sleep.
Watch Her Story
Awakening: Tim's Story
Stealing, drugs, truancy, no father growing up. Tim was headed the wrong direction fast, possibly to jail or an early grave. Seizing the opportunity, his mother sent him to Boys Town, where he thrived, both academically and athletically.
Watch His Story
Driven: Gerald's Story
​​​​​Before coming to Boys Town, Gerald was “rough around the edges.” Living in an environment with a high murder rate, Gerald chose to come to Boys Town for a second chance at achieving success.
Watch His Story
Success: Jon's Story
Jon came to Boys Town without direction or goals. He learned that he enjoyed the trades, especially welding. Once he graduated, Boys Town's Trade Life program mentored his transition to independent adulthood by helping him find full-time work and an
Watch His Story
Evolution: Kahla's Story
After being abused, abandoned and broken, Kahla found a second chance and the love of a family at Boys Town. Forced to choose between Boys Town and prison, there’s no doubt in Kahla’s mind that Boys Town was the best choice imaginable. “It’s not just
Watch Her Story
Determination: Karly's Story
Often left alone as a ​child, Karly began getting into trouble early. Alcohol abuse led to other illegal substances. With her life spiraling out of control, Karly was sent to Boys Town by her parents.
Watch Her Story
Emergence: Diana's Story
For Diana, life could very easily have turned out differently. At 15, she was living in a drug house and getting ready to make a living on the streets selling drugs.
Watch Her Story
Finding Her Future: McKenna's Story
​Entering high school, McKenna felt lost and broken. She intentionally defied her family and continued to make bad decisions. Her issues grew beyond what her family could manage so they reached out to Boys Town for help.
Watch Her Story
Overcoming Heartbreak: Nikole's Story
​​​​Most girls don’t experience their first heartbreak until high school. Nikole’s heart was broken much earlier. She was born to an alcoholic mother and an absent father, who gave her up to relatives when she was just five years old. The trauma of h
Watch Her Story
Our 117th Mayor: Nolan's Story
​Since 1935, Boys Town has elected a mayor. Father Edward J. Flanagan conceived the self-government system at the Village of Boys Town as a tool for its citizens to build character, citizenship and a sense of community.
Watch His Story
Pat's Story
"This Will Get You Through." Pat's Story
​As a young boy at Boys Town, Pat looked up to his older roommate, imitating just about everything he did. His roommate’s simple act of kindness one Christmas (which happened to include an original Reggie Jackson rookie card) gave him the motivation.
Watch His Story

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