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​​Growing up in Detroit, Joe’s life was headed down the wrong path. After he ​and some friends were involved in an assault and vandalism, his grandmother had had enough. Find out how his experience at Boys Town inspired Joe and his wife to become Family-Teachers.


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Joe: I was living with my grandmother, right outside Detroit Michigan. I had an incident where a bunch of friends and myself we vandalized the security vehicle and essentially assaulted a security officer. My grandmother knew ​that I did it and she gave me an alternative she said, "You go to Boys Town or I'm turning you in, you're going to jail."

And it was easy for me, and I said, "Boys Town."

When I first came to Boys Town I was 14. I was here for six months and I hated it. I didn't want anything to do with the program.

I got my home visit, got on the plane never came back. Six months later, shortly after I went back, my grandmother kicked me out, I found myself in a position where you know I knew I needed to make a change.

The second time was great. I loved my family teachers I just was a really good house. I just mind set was different; my attitude was different.

Something in me told me that it was Boys Town that was gonna be able to get me the help that I needed. And that I'd found a home that I'd always wanted and that I'd never had.

I always wanted to come back to Boys Town. Everyone tells me that I used to talk about it when I was here as a kid and I always knew that I wanted to help kids.

Jennifer: I didn't really know anything about Boys Town until I met Joe and heard Joe's story and that's kinda how I got to know a little bit about Boys Town. And he kinda talked to me about what like Boys Town does for kids and I just kinda fell in love with it after that.

Joe: What I love about being a family teacher is just being able to see that transition from the kids when we get them to when they leave. They come here and they're angry, they're scared and, you know, they're frustrated and to just see them transition from that to, you know, being open and trustworthy and being able to give someone a hug and let people in ​and all the different skills that they learn.

I think that's the thing I love best being a family teacher, that and having such a large family. You know, being able to work with my wife every day and see my son and sorry... And see what it means to him. To see the effect that the community you know the support for everybody it's pretty awesome.