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Success Stories

Tyler's Story

Tyler's early life in New York was beyond difficult. He and his family moved from one burned-out drug house to another. Things got so bad at home that he slept on the subway trains at night. Tyler's only spark of hope came from playing football. Eventually his coaches ​connected him with Boys Town, where he flourished athletically and academically.

Today, Tyler serves as Director of Physical Preparation for a New York non-profit called About U NYC, where he works with student athletes from Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx in situations like his own experiences growing up. 

Watch Tyler's Story​

16 years ago, I was living in a shelter home in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

15 years ago, I was living in East River Projects in Harlem, going to train sessions with Coach Alex, just hoping for a chance to go to college.

14 years ago, I was sleeping on the subway with a lot of drive and not a lot of resources, but a lot of hope to make this dream become a reality. 

13 years ago, I was 17 years old, standing in front of NFL Athletes,  and thousands of people at a banquet all the way in Omaha, Nebraska. That night I shared my story of overcoming adversity by finally receiving the resources necessary to become a non statistic of my circumstances. A homeless, fatherless kid from an impoverished neighborhood, attending poor performing public school systems. 

I graduated Boys Town High School on time and went on to play sports in college at the NCAA division two level and achieve my bachelor's degree and then my master's degree with multiple gold standard certifications in my respective field of strength and condition. 

Noted. 13 years later, I'm back in New York City as a coach, mentor, and director within About U. Work I'm doing today is overseeing a portion of a nonprofit 'cause I felt obliged to the youth in the city who are going to similar struggles, who are more limited in resources that are following a similar path that I may have traveled, and helping them navigate to the next, the next steps in their life. It was very, very important to me that I contributed to the places that helped me out and multiply the opportunities that I was given. What drives me every day, used to be my past, right, and always feeling like this weight on me to make it out from my circumstances and that still gives me a little bit of my drive. But what drives me more than anything is the kids I work with on a day-to-day basis. Looking around and seeing how enthusiastic they are, how much energy they give, even when they sometimes might not want to come and study and might not want to come and train and, you know, do what they have to do, but they get it done. And it just reminds me of a place that I was once at when I was super ambitious as a kid. 

Alex: I met him at the age of 13 and from that point on, I realized there's just so much potential in Tyler, but there was a lot, that was going on outside of just the sporting arena. He, he had so much, so much passion, so much energy, but not a, a clear pathway and immediately once Boys Town presented itself, he was the first candidate that I, I thought of. He, you know, just had all of the sort of intangibles to take on that responsibility or opportunity and maximize and that's exactly what he did. 

Tyler: I’ve been blessed to be able to help more Boys Town kids, uh, whether that is through referring them to Boys Town or just simply training them here in New York City and bridging that gap, that was bridged for me  years ago. And I couldn't be prouder of them for following through and trusting me to help them become better citizens in the world. Whether that was simply through sports training or if it was through a little bit of the mentorship and, and guidance I was able to provide them over the years.  There are a lot of major highlights, but what I see and what I'm most proud of is all of the kids that have leveled up from their circumstances that could not dream of being in the positions that they are today.

Watch Tyler's Boys Town Experience

We grew up with terrible living conditions, in shelter homes with huge rats, drug houses, with people trying to break into your apartment in the middle of the night or middle of the day even, with drunks and drug addicts and gangsters shooting outside. Sleeping on a train was better than being at home. I realized that I wanted to do something with my life other than, you know, live day by day and just wonder what's going to happen next.

When I first arrived, it was different. I'd never felt like anything was ever a community, so I never felt any kind of... The biggest word... The key thing in "community" is "unity", and when I walked around, I'd see people laughing, people smiling. I felt love. I never had people greet me that didn't know me, and smile, and welcome me with open arms. And I knew that this was the right place to be.

Got involved in football that fall and played under Coach Kush at the time, and then went into track season, so I ran some track under Coach Bender, and then after track season was over I went into the Rubik's Cube and Chess Club. And I'm proud to say that because that was the first time I did something outside of sports that was pretty cool and productive, and I wanted to challenge ​myself and experience that, as well.

That year on campus, compared to where I'm at now, meant everything. I think the experience of being away from home and what you're used to, or what I was used to, was a huge difference in my outlook on life, being able to be around a diverse group of staff members, a diverse group of youth, my senior year, whether they were from different states or different ethnicities, and things like that, all coming from different backgrounds and experiences. I've always felt lonely before Boys Town, like I was always on my own. Now I feel like I have a support cushion around me, moving forward, and that my life is actually worth something other than just some kid lost in New York City.​

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