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After being abused, abandoned and broken, Kahla found a second chance and the love of a family at Boys Town. Forced to choose between Boys Town and prison, there’s no doubt in Kahla’s mind that Boys Town was the best choice imaginable. “It’s not just a place where I li​ve. It’s not just where I go to school. It’s a place where I love and it’s my home,” shared Kahla.

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​​Video 1 – Kahla's Story: Before Boys Town 

Interviewer: Was there abuse with your mom?

Kahla: There was a lot of abuse with all of my siblings and me. There was a lot of times where we had... My mom had several boyfriends and there was a lot of times where they would come in and abuse me, but a lot of times it was my mom just lashing out because she was too drunk or she was too high.

Well, I remember that day like it was yesterday. She was actually taken in a cop car and driven somewhere, but it was kind of our final goodbye, and I was told that, "You won't be able to see her until you're 18 if you choose to do so," and I haven't seen her since.

I was in and out of foster care, and I started lying and stealing, just kind of following after the footsteps of my mom, and I didn't care what the consequences were. My caseworker, actually, was the one who told me, "Jane, your foster mom doesn't want you here anymore. You've disrupted her family. You've broken everything in the house, basically, and you've really just shattered their home, and she doesn't want you and she doesn't really need you in her life anymore. We need you to go somewhere else. You have two options. You can go to Geneva, which is basically like a kid...girl jail, or you can go to Boys Town."


Video 2 – Kahla's Story: Reaching Her Potential

Kahla: My foster mom told me that I was going to leave was really hard because I'd grown with her family. Even through the bad times and the many hard times that it took to get to that place, I still really did care about her.

Leslie: When we first met Kahla, she was a spunky eighth grader who was very defensive, very guarded. You could tell there was a lot of hurt in such a little girl, being an eighth grader.

Roberto: She, unfortunately, had to deal with and, frankly, survive was a whole lot of men in her life who really had no interest in her well-being, didn't care about her. Or, if they took an interest with her it wasn't in a healthy or appropriate way. And to be able to see that guard break down little by little and help her to understand that, "We are gonna be here for you, this is what two people look like when they're in a loving marriage, and they're here to help you to be able to reach your goals and reach your potential."

Kahla: This isn't just a place to live, it's really a home and a family environment, and I really hadn't had that growing up. And all the family teachers that I've had have always shown me, you know, "We love you no matter what, we're gonna be here for you no matter what."

Leslie: We've been with Kahla for five years now, known her and followed her, each step of her journey here at Boys Town, and she's really become a special part of our family. So we're really excited for her future, and really excited to be allowed to watch and see the woman she grows to be.

Kahla: My favorite thing about Boys Town is being able to change myself for something better, being able to come home, come to a place that's not just a place where I live. It's not just a place where I go to school, it's a place where I love and is my home, and my favorite thing is that it's always gonna be here. It's never going anywhere.

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