Returning Home: Krysten's Foster Care Story
Krysten Vance came to Boys Town at age 14 after a traumatic childhood full of abuse and neglect. Today, her job is finding loving, forever homes for kids that are growing up just like she did.
And she's doing it working for Boys Town as a recruiter, trainer and licenser of foster parents in central Nebraska.
When Krysten walked in the doors of her Boys Town Family Home in September of 1995, she says she knew almost instantly that she would be okay. She felt loved from the first day in the home. Living at Boys Town was an adjustment, at first. There were rules, consistency, consequences and a lot of praise.
She quickly knew what was expected of her and what the resulting consequence would be should she not follow those expectations. She also knew she was a loved and valued part of the family. She began to thrive in school and, despite failing 8th grade back home, graduated from Boys Town High School in 1999 with a 3.43 grade point average.
As a young adult, Krysten tried many jobs, trying to find a place to land. She became a licensed foster parent in 2014. In October of 2020, she applied at Boys Town and was hired for her current position. She knew instantly she was back home.
According to Krysten, the job is more than a paycheck.
“My job is more of a calling and a way to give back for Boys Town saving my life as a teen," she said. “I'm able to share my experiences as a child and the hope I was able to find at Boys Town. Being able to help foster kids know that they can find love in a forever family is a true reward."
Krysten currently is fostering a 3- and 7-year-old set of sisters and adopted a 14-year-old girl out of foster care at age 7. She says she wouldn't be able to do what she does today had Boys Town not taught her the skills needed to be a good parent and what it was like to love and be loved.
“I've chosen to get 'too attached' to the kids I have in my home so they can learn to form healthy attachments to adults in their lives," Krysten said. “Thank goodness I had Boys Town to show me the way."