Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child, Pyper was bullied in school to the point of considering suicide. Pyper and her father found hope at Boys Town, where she fell in with a group of peers who immediately embraced her for her unique gifts.
Watch Pyper's Story
Mark: I got a knock on the door, about 10:00 at night, and it was a policeman at the door, and said that he had got a call from some parents that said he had receive...They had received a suicide text that had come out from Pyper. At that point, you know, obviously, ran to her bedroom to make sure she was okay. She was okay. Thank God. But, you know, I slept next to her bed for a month.
Pyper: The biggest thing that has changed since I've been at Boys Town is definitely my self-confidence. When I first came, I was in eighth grade. I didn't really have a lot of self-confidence. So it took me a long time to, like, meet people at first and break out of my shell.
Stevie: Every day, there's a miracle here at Boys Town, and I witnessed one, myself. She was walking down the lunchroom, and she was trying to hold her tray, and all the kids were eating and talking and goofing around. She was walking down, wobbly, with her tray, and she tripped, and the tray flew.
Now, any place else, it would have been laughter and making fun. There wasn't a peep. They looked at her, and they jumped up. Twenty kids jumped up, cleaned up her mess, helped her up, "Are you okay, Pyper? Are you okay, Pyper?" Not one, and I was watching because I was ready to jump on it if somebody was gonna laugh, not one student laughed, and they felt for her. To me, that's a miracle.
Pyper: It gave me a brighter future. Like, I actually got the opportunity to actually graduate, get scholarships, make some friends that would, like, last a long time, make great memories.
Mark: I'm a believer that everything happens for a reason, and kind of the ironic thing about all this is when I was in my 20s, I actually lived across the street from Boys Town and never paid a whole lot of attention to it. And yet, you know, a few years later, Boys Town ends up, I believe, saving my daughter's life.