An Inspiring Journey for This Nebraska Teen:
Transformation and Success Found at Boys Town
Accomplished: Hailey's Success Story
Boys Town is everything to Hailey. It's home. It's family. It's traditions. It's opportunities. It's where her heart softened and where she recaptured the joy and lightness of childhood. Hailey's life changed in ways large and small over four years, from learning to dribble a basketball to becoming battalion commander in JROTC to earning a full-ride college scholarship. Boys Town is where she transformed herself and her future.
In Hailey's words, “This is my home. I've never lived in a place longer than I've lived here… Thank you for being there and loving me through my struggles… and not giving up on me, even when I gave up on myself. And for telling me that I'm still loved."
Watch Hailey's Story
Jodi: If you had not come to Boys Town, where do you think you might be right now in life?
Hailey: I would be very unhappy. I would probably have a child or two. I wouldn't be with my family. I would be really sad.
Hailey: This is my home. I've never lived in a place longer than I've lived here.
Hailey: Before Boys Town, I started making some decisions that were really unhealthy for me and really dangerous and were making my parents feel like they needed some help. We both needed to make a lot of changes. And I don't know if we were willing to do that until I came to Boys Town. And we're still working on that.
Jodi: Hailey arrived to us just out of eighth grade in the summer, and so she was young, and not really self-aware of how her choices and actions affected everyone around her.
Kyle: Everyone saw a lot of potential wherever she went, you know, whether it was athletics, or school, or leadership groups, everyone saw that there was a lot of potential there, but how are we going to harness it.
Hailey: Boys Town is the first place that has told me that I am an athlete. I was not athletic in any way, shape or form. I could not dribble when I first came here. It was sad to watch me play basketball. And this year, I was the varsity starter starting point guard, which is crazy to see from my freshman year until now. I was able to be voted in by my peers as the vice mayor of Boys Town. I've been able to advocate for my peers. I've been able to talk to a lot of donors. I found JROTC, which has been a huge part of my life. It's motivated me to push myself and become better. And they've helped me to find a scholarship that'll pay for complete college tuition for me. And I would have never had that if I'd never come to Boys Town,
Troy: It's very, very competitive. Typically only about 400 students win the award nationally. So, it's really a big deal.
Hailey: I remember just coming home and like I jumped on Jodi and Kyle and I was like, "I got it." Just so excited calling my family, and they were all so excited for me, and just so proud of me. And having that just feeling of that big of an accomplishment.
Jodi: You know, when you've had somebody with you for as long as we've had Hailey, they become a part of your family. And we've already experienced emotions this week. You know, it's gonna be a loss for us as she leaves and moves on. I mean, we're very proud and very happy for her but, you know, it's like your child going away and leaving the nest.
Hailey: I love Kyle and Jodi with all my heart. I will never say otherwise. They've done so much for me and I'm so grateful, and they've helped my family so much.
Hailey: Thank you for being there and loving me through my struggles, and dealing with my crazy family, and everything that came with being my family teacher, and being someone in my family, and not giving up on me, even when I gave up on myself and when others gave up on me, and telling me that I'm still loved.
Jodi: Thank you, Hailey. You will always be family.
Hailey: I just don't want to cry a lot because I'm a crier.
Jodi: Well, you just need to accept the fact that that's just what everyone is gonna have. There's no way you're gonna prevent it.