Often left alone as a child, Karly began getting into trouble early. Alcohol abuse led to other illegal substances. With her life spiraling out of control, Karly was sent to Boys Town by her parents. While she was away, tragedy struck twice as Karly lost both parents within quick succession - her father to a hunting accident, her mother to cancer. On the brink of giving up, Karly instead rallied, and buoyed by the support of her Boys Town family, she went on to graduate from a prestigious four-year university.
Watch Karly's Story
My parents did work a lot out of the home, so my brother and I were left to our own very often. That's when I started to get into trouble when I was spending all this free time that I had on my own. At about 13 I started using alcohol as a substance abuse. It became a gateway drug for other harder drugs, like marijuana. My parents loved me so much that once I did start to get into significant trouble they sought other influences for me to find a better path for myself.
My family teachers welcomed me with open arms, which was a very reassuring feeling considering at the time I was going through my mother's cancer battle.
I was told that my dad was in a fatal hunting accident. It was quite a shock for me at the time being that my mom was still fighting cancer. I was a little bit confused how the two instances could happen so closely together. Two months later, my mom did lose her battle with cancer. I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit trying to change. But staying here and feeling the love that everybody had to give made me want to change for myself.
Before Boys Town when I was in high school back in California, I had no desire to attend college. Once I started at Boys Town, I quickly learned that I was capable of so much more and did have the potential to go to a four year college. It was a very inspiring and exciting time to start looking at colleges and studying for the ACT and working with my family teachers to get those college applications in. I started to learn that I was selling myself short and that I was capable of achieving these great goals.
Graduating from college was a completely elated feeling. I am continuously so proud of myself that I accomplished something so strong. Having my family there to celebrate with me and be proud of me just made all those feelings that much more special. Walking across the stage and receiving my diploma, I thought I was going to fall but I didn't. That says a lot about my college career. There were many times when I thought I was going to fall. But walking to the end and seeing something through and receiving that diploma, it's just such an amazing feeling to know that I did it and I made it here and I got through all of those times feeling like I was going to fall and fail. I made it.
My parents would be absolutely...There's not even a word for it. They would be so happy and so proud. They always wanted to see me succeed, and that's why they sent me to Boys Town to begin with.
I would not be who I am today without Boys Town, and it's that simple to say. I am successful because of Boys Town, and I will forever be truly grateful.