Her Last Hope.
After suffering through unspeakable abuse, Moniece fled from multiple foster placements, landed in juvenile detention and eventually found Boys Town North Florida. Angry and broken, she found the help she needed from those who cared enough to find out WHY she had been acting out. Armed with the love and support she received at Boys Town and new tools and skills learned there, Moniece overcame her past and is now pursuing two masters degrees in a field she is determined to change.
Moniece: I don't know. I don't know how anyone can be capable of such cruelty, such evilness. So, I truly don't know what causes a human being to be capable of such darkness. We had a babysitter and he raped me. They then put us in relative care, and that put me in the position to be sexually abused three more times by two different men. The system failed me. The system failed my family.
By the time I got to Boys Town, one of the reasons that I was so angry was because of my experiences in those previous homes. And by the time I got to Boys Town, I truly thought they were going to be the same thing.
Marcus: Until a kid really deals with the trauma that they've experienced and observed, they really can't get any better because that's always lingering above them. So, that's one thing that we love about Boys Town. When kids come here, we deal with the trauma. We understand that that takes time.
Moniece: Despite my behaviors, despite me, you know, being this angry child, I never had anyone look past the anger and try to figure out why I was angry, what was causing me to be so angry, and I was just so used to people giving up on me and just kicking me out. They actually saw potential in me that I didn't even see in myself at that time, that they didn't give up on me, that they gave me a second chance, and that they genuinely cared.
Moniece: I had my own job. I was finishing up high school. I was in every type of extracurricular activity. I did dance, I did quarters, I did track and field, shotput and discus, volleyball. I was super involved. But Boys' Town, especially my family teachers, were always there at my games, or always there at my meets, and it was just...it felt like a family.
When I turned 18 and I got in the "real world", a lot of the lessons that I learned in Boys' Town, which I didn't think I would use, I actually do use. So I kind of wanna find a way, an avenue, to be able to utilize my past and my experiences to better assist our youth who are transitioning out of care.
Tonia: Our kids that have graduated from Boys' Town and know her, not even ones that were here with her but know her, are able to see that if she can do it, I can do it too.
Alyce: She is the resident director for Wisdom's Wellspring, which is a residential facility for young women who are at high-risk for dependency. And Mo, essentially, is the person who runs the day-to-day operations at this residential facility.
Pamela: I see her in some type of leadership role, leading not just the community she lives in, not just even our state but our nation, in providing for young people and helping young people. I think Boys' Town is ultimately the reason why she is the person that she is.
Moniece: I will be graduating from Florida State University as a MPA/MSW graduate student. I mean, I just feel like I'm doing what I gotta do to succeed and follow my dreams.
Man: She will be our first graduate of a masters program that we've had from the site, so we're really excited. We're gonna be there to help her celebrate.
Cynthia: My daughter is proof that Boys' Town works. And there are other children that are coming up behind her that want to be like her. Moniece is my hero. And it should be the other way around, but she's my hero.
Moniece: Without Boys' Town, personally speaking, I wouldn't have made it. I chose not to become my past. I chose not to let hate overtake me, and I chose to forgive. Boys' Town is a miracle, my miracle. They are truly saving lives.