Finding Her Future
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. She already felt lost when she entered foster care and it only got worse until she arrived a Boys Town.
“If not for Boys Town, I am sure that I would have been a runaway doing lots of drugs,” she said. Boys Town helped Ja'Maiya change her life. She matured, overcame hurdles, and became actively involved in school life. She had never planned to attend college, but through Boys Town’s Successful Futures program, she is now pursuing a degree in nursing and looks forward to the future.
“Blood doesn’t make a family, love does,” said Ja'Maiya. “I will forever be grateful to Boys Town for that.”
Watch Ja'Maiya's Story
If I didn't enter Boys Town when I did, I'd probably be a runaway doing drugs. I ain't gonna lie to you. I'd probably doing a lot of drugs, not knowing what to do with my life.
My birth mother, she died when I was a baby and I lived with my grandma and then she passed too. And so I lived with my great aunt. We didn't really have the best relationship and so we did.
We like got into many physical altercations and, and I told them I didn't wanna be there anymore. And so I just, I got into the system. When I first met Ja'Maiya, it was a couple of years ago, um, she came to us, um, like most of our kids do within the foster care system. Um, looking for, you know, a place to, to lay her head. Initially I've Been to like four or five homes before I reached Boys Town.
It made it worse for like my mental, like stability. It was just like moving from home to home, seeing all those different people. Going through all of that trauma really changed me as a person.
When Ja'Miaya first came to us. Um, you know, she had suffered a lot of losses. Relationships were harder for her to build and just with her background it took a, it took a while for her to kind of overcome some of those hurdles.
A lot of times we have kids who are, um, pretty much, I always describe it as um, on the Cliff, right with no safety net Successful Futures is a program that I'm extremely excited about and that has provided that structure, that safety net and that continuum of care for our youth so that they're successful when they leave our program.
It's very structured so it's like you, you're actually learning things that you need to learn to get out there in that real world in life. Family, teachers, they stepped in and they helped me.
They were just like, we're going to, we're gonna get through this together. Like as much as you don't want to, as much as you're scared we're gonna get through this together.
Definitely helped me. I definitely matured a lot. What struck me about her was her desire when she got, especially when she got to home campus to be really involved in school life.
I've seen a major growth in her. She's just feeling the independence and so she's more comfortable now. The change I've seen is just a different sense of self-worth and I think she really, truly feels like people care about her Now.
Once you feel like you're not in this alone, I think that makes a big difference in how you view the trajectory of your life. I did not want to go to college at all when I came to Boys Town and the successful Futures thing, they were giving me all these opportunities.
Like at the end of this, it's not just about money, like I'm actually like planning ahead towards my future. I am going to college. Um, I attend Delgado, I chose the nursing 'cause I like to help people.
That is my goal for her is to be able to make that transition from the community college to the university and then Be able to become a nurse like she wants.
When I saw her last week, it's the most happy that I've ever seen her. She said that this is the best. She's living her life and doing her thing on campus and living in the dorms and all those things. I'm excited for her to be in a profession that she loves, that she's passionate about and I'm gonna be here to the very end to make sure that she does do it. Hold her accountable on the promises that she's made, um,
because she deserves it. She really deserves it. Thank you for like everything. 'cause if it was not for Boys Town, I definitely would not be here. I'm very grateful that this opportunity was given to me.
Um, I'm very grateful that you guys took the time to teach me so much about this world. I'm so grateful that, you know, they just, they had a helping hand and they really just like took me in as their own, that this is literally my family. Blood doesn't make a family love does, and Boys Town definitely is my home and I will forever be grateful for that.