Boys Town Youth Finds Her Way:
A Success in the Medical Field and Life
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. With the burdens of her past being lifted from her shoulders, she was able to find purpose and ultimately success. A recent graduate of Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing, she is now an inspiration to not only other children at Boys Town, but to her mentors and teachers as well.
Watch Carley's Story
Carley: My mom got sick when I was probably 12, maybe 13, and she passed away when I was 14. I got moved around between a lot of aunt and uncles because I wasn't exactly the sweetest kid to have around. That really wasn't going too hot for me. I was getting into trouble and skipping school. I moved to a couple of different group homes, probably seven different group homes in a year before I got to Boys Town. When I got to Boys Town it was really nice. It was like I could just have this huge burden taken off my shoulders because I'm here. It was really nice to have somewhere that I could finally rest my head and not be worried about what I'd have to take care of tomorrow or when I was gonna eat next. It was a relief to come here, honestly, and I'm very appreciative that I ended up here.
My name is Carley Coffman, and I'm a graduate of Nebraska Methodist College Nursing and Allied Health, and Boys Town is my home.
Stevie: My name is Stevie Gass. I'm a health services instructor at Boys Town. I'm also a registered nurse.
Stevie: She was one of my very first students here at Boys Town Very strong-willed, and I saw a lot of myself in Carley. I saw me at that age and I thought, "She could go a negative way or she could go positive." And I really felt like, at that point, I could influence which way she went. A couple of months went by and we had our little tug-of-wars, who was gonna be the boss. Then all of sudden, I saw this girl blossom. I could see her growing and I could see that she was gonna use that strong will. She was gonna use that personality in a positive way because she was already starting to do it in my class. It was like all of a sudden she decided, "You know what? I think this is what I wanna do," and I could tell as soon as she made that decision that she wanted to go into nursing. It really suddenly just bonded and it was like "Okay. We're a team. We're gonna get through this." It just went smooth and she was my wing man during the rest of the year. She just became a leader in the class and has never stopped and has never stopped growing from that point. I knew she could do anything that she wanted to do and I wanted to make sure she had that opportunity.
Carley: She's very parental, very protective, very motherly, and it is kind of like I am part of her family.
Stevie: This is the reason the teachers are here. They're mothers and they're grandmothers to these kids. These kids look up to the teachers, and they know that these teachers are gonna be there for them.
Carley: She was always...I mean, besides an instructor. . . See? You're gonna make me cry. Besides an instructor, she's more of like a life coach honestly. Yeah, you're so sweet.
Stevie: These kids trust. They've learned to trust the teachers here. They learned to trust the people here. That's a new experience for some of these kids.
Carley's Story FINDING SUCCESS Thanks to Stevie and boys town, Carley found a passion for nursing and the skills and support to attend Methodist Nursing College.
Stevie: Whenever I see a student struggling I think, "You know, with some hard work, you can be successful." In the back of my mind I'm thinking about Carley, how she succeeded and now she's graduated. She's got her B.S.N. and she's worked so hard. The school was not an easy school. It was a hard school. She had to take all of her skills that she learned at Boys Town and she had to transfer them and use them and actually put them to work. I really truly believe that these skills helped her succeed.
Fran: She was real appreciative of what she had at Boys Town, so I think that gives her a different edge, coming into a difficult program like nursing. She's a very hard worker, she's very diligent, she loves people, she loves nursing, she loves learning and she's done the work to be where she is today.
Stevie: It was just a dream come true for me. . .and I know it was for her, too. . .but for me, just to see how she started out and she just went through all that she went through, how she grew. To see her walk across the stage so proudly and to get that degree and I knew in my heart, I knew there's one nurse that's really gonna care about people.
Carley: I'm thankful for Boys Town because they gave me a home and they kind of looked at me in a different light than what most people look at me. As a kid and as rough around the edges as I was, I think a lot of people didn't really think I was gonna make it this far in life. So just having someone else that was going to take a deeper look and see what else I needed and see what resources I needed and that were necessary to make me a successful individual. It was nice that they took the extra time, not like a lot of people in my life. So I'm very thankful that they looked at me as an individual and not just a product of my environment.
Now that I've graduated, I think a lot of doors have opened up for me. And so with my nursing degree, I would like to find a nursing job in either cardiac or. . . Geriatrics is probably where I'll end up because I have a severe love for elderly people and I hope to start my master's or my doctorate's program. Eventually I would like to be a nurse practitioner and educator so I'll see where that takes me.
Stevie: Carley is very special to me. She represents something that I dream that these kids can have in the future. Every time I look at her and talk to her I think, "You're an inspiration to my students here".