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. Faced with a choice between the possibility of jail and even early death, Andy ended up at Boys Town, where he got the family support he needed to turn his life around.
In Andy's words, "If it wasn't for Boys Town I probably wouldn't be here right now. Boys Town, this is my family. I can call it my first family cause back home my family really didn't have anything to do with me. When I need something I call my family teachers and they'll always be by my side."
Watch Andy's Story
Andy: My life before Boys Town was pretty rough. I moved to Chicago as a young kid before my Mom died. My Dad, he got custody of us for a little while, for about a couple of months. After my Mom died my Granny went to court and got custody of us.
Day to day in my neighborhood it was like drug dealing, gang banging, a lot of shooting and murders. You couldn't walk outside of your house without somebody saying something to you or you get into a fight. I started getting into fights and I started getting suspended a lot. I got into a fight with this kid cause he took my basketball and I bit him, like some meat off his face and so that's when they started putting me on medication cause I was scared of it. I was trying to not go to jail. I got into this big fight on the school bus and the kid I fought, I beat him up so bad like he pressed charges on me. He ended up in the hospital and so I ended up in detention. I was in detention for three months and the judge told me he would not send me home. The public defender was like trying to keep me out but again they put me in because they said I was a danger to the community. I talked to my probation officer at the time and he's like well I'm gonna look into it and I told him at the rate I'm going now I might not make it in here and at home I'll probably end up dead or in jail.
If it wasn't for Boys Town I probably wouldn't be here right now. Boys Town, this is my family. I can call it my first family cause back home my family really didn't have anything to do with me. When I need something I call my family teachers and they'll always be by my side. And now my family sees that I can do it and I made it. It really like changed my behavior and my attitude. What the future holds for me is I'll go to college, I'll get married. I'll have kids and continue on with my life. Thank you Boys Town for saving my life and my family's life. People change everyday. Things can happen over night.