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Success Stories

Photo of David, a Boys Town alumnus

Grateful: David's Story

David arrived at Boys Town as a "lost, broken little kid" straight from juvenile detention. Initially scared, David soon found himself thriving in Boys Town's family-oriented environment. David's journey saw him become homecoming king and captain of the football team – a far cry from the scared little kid who arrived with no teeth and barely any clothes.

Today, David is a successful small business owner and a devoted father. His gratitude towards Boys Town and its donors underscores the program's profound impact, turning what seemed like a hopeless situation into a remarkable success story. 

Watch David's Story​

Hi everyone, and welcome to day two of Boys Town Donor Week. My name is Gabby, and I am your host for the week.

We are joined live today here with David, who is a 2005 Boys Town alumnus. David, how are you doing today?

Doing good, thank you. Good morning. Good morning. It's great to have you on It's donor week. So for all of you watching out there who support Boys Town,

we are going live every day to tell stories of alumni like David and community partners, as well as some fun quizzes and trivia.

So stay tuned. We've got something every day to basically say thank you. Thank you for supporting our mission and making these success stories that we're

telling possible. Before we get into our discussion with David, I wanna remind everyone that we are doing a live giveaway.

So if you're watching live here, we are doing a giveaway for these items I'm showing here on the screen.

And if you wanna enter to win, go ahead and just leave a comment below. Let us know why you support Boys Town,

and we'll draw the winner here live at the end. And then we're also doing a grand prize for the whole week,

so that's gonna be a paver, which is a personalized paver that's going to be part of the Boys Town Education

Center opening this fall. So I'm gonna add up all the comments throughout the week, so even if you aren't live, if you're watching this later tonight,

still comment, let us know why you support and we'll draw that winner at the end anyway. All right, David, how is it going? Let's get into these discussion questions.

Question, please tell us more about yourself and when you graduated from Boys Town. I know I said 2005 already, out maybe tell us more about what your time was like there.

Uh, so kind of, I arrived in Boys Town the winter of 2000.

Mm-hmm. And, uh, lost broken little kid, uh,

straight out of a juvenile facility detention. Uh, from there I went to Boys Town in Grand Island. At the time,

I was the longest standing citizen in Boys Town, so, uh, I don't know, I kind of wore like a pride of honor.

Like I was like an old veteran in Grand Island. Uh, when the, the home phone, when the home finally became available in that winter,

I arrived on Wall Street at the Greers home, and it was, it was, yeah, culture shock was definitely different than Boys Town Grand Island.

It was a lot more open, more family oriented, um, yeah.

And it's just a game changer. When I arrived there, it was just, you know,

just one positive outcome and result after another. And so I don't even know where to begin. I could just,

I could say I could sit here for hours, but yeah. Yeah. So, backtracking, you know, before you arrived to Boys Town,

tell us a little bit more about David. Before that, what were the struggles that you were facing? Oops. Uh, before Boys Town, uh, I was, I'm born and raised in San Diego,

California, uh, from a Latin, you know, background, upbringing, uh, mom, grandma, always working. So it left a lot of opportunity for my older brother and I,

and cousins to get into a lot of trouble. Uh, didn't necessarily come from a bad family, it just, again,

we didn't really have anyone there to, uh, point us in the right direction, so to speak. And, uh, yeah, got in a lot of troubles.

Fighting was kind of our thing. Uh, fighting against other kids in other neighborhoods, uh mm-hmm. But always sports. I always found solace and pride in sports,

and so that kind of kept me, uh, in the right circle of friends, the right circle of men, women who would advocate on my behalf because I was a good kid. You know,

1 just, yeah. Made knucklehead and bonehead decisions.

Mm-hmm. And, uh, yeah, so long story short, I was, uh, moved around and we ended up living in Wahoo, Nebraska,

very small town, about an hour outside of Omaha. Uh, my stepfather was a superintendent for a cement company, and, uh,

yeah, it landed us in Wahoo. And out of all places, a little brown kid in Wahoo didn't fit in too good. And so that came with, uh,

with its own set of struggles and mm-hmm. And battles.

Uh, I was deemed almost automatically as being a troublemaker.

And I don't necessarily look at it like that, but, uh, it brought me to Boys Town. And so I'm thankful for being a troublemaker,

so to speak. So when you stepped foot on Boy Towns campus, what were you feeling? Initially Scared. Yeah. Uh, didn't, I didn't know what was gonna happen.

Didn't know who to trust, didn't know what it was. I just didn't know I, I was literally lost. I was just hoping I had a good feeling because of that, or juvenile detention.

And so, uh, in that regard, you know, I was excited. Uh, I knew we had the opportunity to play sports, and so, and that aspect,

I was stoked because I'm like, man, I've always excelled in sports, but i was always getting in trouble for this, that or the other,

and didn't necessarily have the environment in which I could thrive in. And so when I arrived to Boys Town, I was scared. Yeah. But I,

I stuck it through and I think I thrived in the process. I really did. I loved it. Yeah. What sports were you involved in at?

I was a year-round athlete, football track and wrestling.

Uh, I like to stay busy. Uh, some of our coaches say, you know,

you get too lazy sitting around or you get, you know, uh, yeah, you get lazy sitting around, you gotta stay active.

And a lot of our coaches,

they would push us to, you know, our football coach would stay, you know, wrestle, wrestle, will make you a better football player,

run track to help you stay in condition for football. So yeah, I stayed busy year round and Leonard and Varsity, all three sports,

all four years I was there. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I love, I love hearing the sports memories of our alumni because I know you,

you had mentioned that you played sports before, but a lot of the kids, a lot of the kids that come to Boys Town have never played organized sports,

have never been on a team, or really learned kind of the skillset sets of being a good teammate and

following direction and, you know, being led by a coach even is Yeah. Opportunity. They had never really, undergone. So, do you have any,

any favorite sports memories? There's a bunch of 'em.

Uh, yeah. I know one of my favorite that I'll, 1,

you know, me and some of the other alumni, we talk about it here and there when we get the opportunity to get together. Uh,

but l would probably have to go back to the Waku Newman Boys Town rivalry. Yeah. Um, at the time, in the early 2000, wahoo Newman,

they were kind of the powerhouse in C1 football. Mm-hmm. Uh, and Boys Town was always competitive, but we would just never,

ever get over that hill. And my senior year was the first time we finally beat the state champs. And uh, that I just remember the, not just the football team,

out I just remember the whole stadium, the whole Boys Town crowd just losing it, going bananas. And it was, that was just, I don't know, it was fairytale almost. It was,

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was super fun memory. Yeah. And like all the hard work you put together as a team to especially your senior

year have Oh, yeah. So special. Yeah. It was fun. So tell us more about being in the family Home program.

What was it like living with other boys and tell us more about your family teachers. Oh, uh, family home program was, I think, the game changer.

I think that's what, uh, I think put the punctuation mark on, you know, I think my successful development was because again, uh,

not necessarily saying I didn't come home from a loving family, but when your parents, they're just working to try to make ends meet.

I didn't know what it was like, you know, uh, sitting down as a family regularly, you know, having family topics, you know,

and it being a point of emphasis to, Hey, you know, you're going to lead the discussion tonight at the dinner table.

Do you have any topics that you would like to discuss?

You know, that was kind of new to me and

a little alienesque, but at the same time, super thankful because I find myself today as a parent instilling those same

qualities and my kids, my nieces, my nephews, uh, hey, what's the topic of conversation versus just sitting there with your head down,

looking like a weirdo in your phone. Let's have a conversation. So, super appreciative of that. Yeah. We, we love hearing that too, cuz you know,

if you compare even the families at Voice Town to an, even just a normal regular family, it's like, no phones at all.

So really we don't even have phones at the dinner table.

And then, you know, you kind of leave Voice Town and you're like, wait, what?

People don don't just talk about things at dinner and what's great new quality. So glad you mentioned that. Um, what about your housemates?

Do you have any fun stories with them or reflecting back?

Oh, oh yeah. I've got a bunch of good fun stories. Uh, we were, uh,

we were pretty fortunate. I, I wasn't a house full of varsity athletes, you know, so we, we were lucky to the fact that the majority of our kids were mature enough,

knew how to handle disagreements, knew to, knew, had coping skills, uh, when they're having a difficult day whatnot. So I guess in that regard,

we were super lucky cuz we didn't, uh, yeah. We didn't have to worry about some kid going out of control cuz he couldn't get

a, a sweet snack or something, you know? Um, yeah, we were varsity athletes, we u we leaned on each other.

Those are,

till this day, those guys are still my brothers. We, we hang out, we, we out, we talk regularly. Um mm-hmm. And if we don't talk regularly when we do talk,

it seems like we never skipped a beat. Uh, those, you know, uh, truly are not just like, he ain't heavy. He's my brother motto.

Like those guys and gals truly are, you know, like my brothers, my sisters and I hold them in that regard to this day. Mm-hmm.

Yeah. So tell us the differences of David who first came to Boys Town, feeling nervous and scared of what was ahead and then David when he

graduated. Whew. Well first of all, when I showed up, 1 didn't have any teeth. I was in a car accident because I stole a vehicle and I needed

frontal dental surgery and oh, my skin graft, my face was pretty messed up. Uh, so yeah, uh, on top of all the emotional damage I had when I arrived, there was, you know,

some physical damage to my appearance, to my self confidence. I always had a beautiful smile. And when that disappeared it was a blow.

So when I did show up to Boys Town with no teeth, one outfit, maybe two outfits of clothes, uh, compared to when I graduated, you know, I had an opportunity as homecoming king.

I was a captain of the football team, you know, uh, had an opportunity to wrestle at state, uh, you know,

on our championship singlets where, which were coolest in the state by the way. You know, like, uh, it was just, yeah, it was a game changer. You know,

it really helped propel me to who I am today. You know, it helped me understand that with hard work and with

consistency and determination and objectives, that you literally can overcome anything. And, uh, not to sound cliche, but like it's super true, you know, uh, perseverance.

And that's something that, uh, I think a lot of us kids from Boys Town kick the crap out of any other kid in

I was a captain of the football team, you know, uh, had an opportunity to wrestle at state, uh, you know,

on our championship singlets where, which were coolest in the state by the way. You know, like, uh, it was just, yeah, it was a game changer. You know,

it really helped propel me to who I am today. You know, it helped me understand that with hard work and with

consistency and determination and objectives, that you literally can overcome anything. And, uh, not to sound cliche, but like it's super true, you know, uh, perseverance.

And that's something that, uh, I think a lot of us kids from Boys Town kick the crap out of any other kid in

I'd love to hear more about you being a small business owner and a father as much as you'd like to share.

Yeah, so that's, you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

That's, that's my life nowadays. I operate a small construction company, uh,

and I, I enjoy being a father. Uh, we recently had our son, uh, he's going to be a year old next month. Oh

God. He's my pride. I'm gonna try not to get emotional cuz I get just everything that I've gone through in life has really prepared me for, for me to be a father to my son,

you know? And, uh, wow, what an incredible opportunity, blessing, something that I hold in such a high regard. I can hear even some of the coaches from Boys Town, you know, it's like, hey,

our job's not just to coach you to be athletes, you know, our job's to coach you to be good young men and good fathers and good husbands,

you know, and Oh my, yes, it's true. I mean, we, we did a, uh, a video shoot earlier this year and it was all about dreams and what our kids

dream about and you know, one of our kids said, you know, my dream is to have a family and I wanna treat my family the way that Boys Town

treats their family. Yes. And I'm gonna do that. And here you are a, a real example of someone doing that. So it's incredible.

Yeah. So, uh, yeah, family work, I think just like every other, you know, hardworking American out there, uh, just extremely, extremely thankful. Uh, I don't know,

these emotions caught me off guard. Alright. Um, but yeah, I just wanna say thank you. Yeah. And to hear it coming from,

from someone with such emotion and to be able to share this during our donor week, you know, we can,

we can share things all the time of here's how Boys Town helps, here's what we do, um, here's how your donation impacts.

But to really hear and say, here I am, I'm David and I went to Boys Town and this is how it helped me is, is wonderful.

So we appreciate the emotion you sharing your story. No, thank you. Yeah. Okay. So kind of my last question here before we, uh, draw our,

our giveaway winner, I'm gonna get the, the wheel spun here and get that going, but we do have a lot of donors watching.

So what would you like to say to them for what they've done for you and what we continue to do for our kids?

Uh, yeah, I just wanna say thank you. You know, uh, I know it's easy to, uh, maybe just out of

obligation feel like it's the right thing to do mm-hmm. But to have a true sense and understanding of what your donations do for kids like me who are lost, uh,

hopeless to get them back on track, you know, uh, some of the most honest and loyal, genuine, successful people I know come from some of the most

hard bumpy roads and beginnings. Uh, so to be a part of Boys Town and what you've guys done for us, man,

and I could just go on for days of all the number of successful alumni that uh, I'm proud to, you know, know and call my brother and sister manage just up to,

up to our donors. So thank you. Yes, thank you. And thank you everyone for watching and tuning into our donor week.

School kids walking to class outsideSchool kids walking to class outside

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