Boys Town Logo
Boys Town Logo

Success Stories

Nick and Karen's Story

Karen made one of the toughest ​decisions any parent has to ​make. She had her son Nick arrested and sent to Boys Town. Today, they're tighter than they've ever been, and Nick is on his way to a bright future. Watch their inspirational story and help save more children and families by sharing their story of healing and hope ​today!

Watch Nick and Karen's Story​

Part 1

Karen: He was a difficult child. He had been that way for many years. He kind of had a way of turning the whole entire house inside out and upside down.

I would say things started to get difficult for him, for us, when he was around eight years old. That's when I started to rationalize that well, when he gets a little older, he'll be more reasonable and he'll get more mature. It became abundantly clear as he got older, he got bigger and so did his problems. He was particularly violent with his younger brother. Violent is an understatement. I mean he would beat us up. But he bullied us. He called the shots around here. He ran things and did pretty much whatever he chose to do whenever he chose to do it. He was angry. He was aggressive. He was not good with his siblings and he wasn't good with me.

Nick: I didn't really care too much about school. I got into smoking weed with some of the people I knew. And that's when I started stealing from my mom and stealing from grocery stores and gas stations and stuff. I was really mean. I never wanted to spend any time at home. I always wanted to do what I wanted to do. It was always me, me, me, me, me. I was incredibly selfish. I was kind of jerk.

Part 2

Karen: My breaking point... I remember that day really well. We had had a particularly rough night with Nick and he had physically attacked his brother and I became fearful for the safety of my other kids. So, he jumped in the shower and I took his phone and just started looking at some of his messages. He was involved in some things at school. It was finals week during spring and he was selling or being approached by students, other students for his ADHD medication. I took that opportunity and I had him arrested and I had him sent to the youth center and he spent two nights in jail. So, that was the first step in my breaking point and it was really, really hard. It was a hard thing to do because I had to go before a judge then two days later and I had to tell her that I would not allow him back in my home. After doing some research and doing some calling around and trying to find the best place for him to be, it became abundantly clear to me that the lucky kids end up at Boys Town.

Part 3

Karen: The first month in particular was difficult because the first 30 days, you don't have a lot of contact and that's tough. I had lots of things that I had to do. I had to do common sense parenting  and that was six weeks of learning how to speak the language that the family teachers speak in the home and implementing it here with the other kids. And we had to learn a new way to communicate in a new way to not yell and scream and constantly have turmoil and crisis.

Nick: Teachers, family teachers, the field house staff, every single employee or volunteer or almost just about every single person on that campus is working there for us, for the kids.

Karen: I mean they are there for him, have been there for him, rock solid, 100% in his corner, in my corner, supportive. We will spend holidays with them. I don't know where... everybody should have people like this in their lives, everybody should. And I'm lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.

Nick: I definitely wouldn't, I wouldn't be doing anywhere near to what I'm doing now if it wasn't for what my Mom had done.

Karen: Nick and I are tight. We have a good, solid bond. One that cannot be broken.

Nick: I've learned to appreciate her a lot more than I used to, definitely. Like with my little brother it's... I want to be his role model because with my Dad not always being around, it's very hard on Graham [SP] a lot more so than just me.

Karen: I have said this to people before, that I did not know what was going on over there, in that square mile, but there are miracles that are taking place every single day over there.

Your Gift
Makes an Impact

Your gift will give a second chance to more young people like Nick. Join us in rewriting their stories – one heartfelt contribution at a time.​

Get an Inside Look at
Living at Boys Town

Sign up for our Follow a Family email series.