Boys Town, Nebraska

 

  • Community name: Boys Town            
  • Community or city website  
  • Population: 679
  • Graduation rate: 100.0%
  • Youth poverty rate: 0.0% 

Overview

Boys Town’s unique community design and initiatives to help children with behavioral, emotional and physical complications have helped it achieve its fifth 100 Best win. Boasting a 100 percent graduation rate, the Boys Town Model, which has been replicated across the nation, teaches youth how to develop skills, build healthy relationships and make decisions on their own. In the Boys Town community, six to eight children live in a home with Family Teachers who serve as parents and positive role models for the children. Young people in Boys Town also receive the opportunity to share opinions on town decisions through the Youth Mayor of the Village position. This young person ensures all major town decisions consider the youth perspective. In addition, Boys Town has programs that help youth get back on track academically. On the Way Home ensures adolescents with disabilities who require out-of-home care for behavior or academic problems can re-enter the home and school with the support they need to succeed. The Reading is FAME curriculum helps students that have low reading levels catch up with their peers. Schools, community, private sector and government leaders are working together as part of the Omaha Community Partnership to develop strategies to prevent juvenile crime, violence and illegal drug use in Omaha.

Community Programs

  • The Boys Town Model ensures a consistent treatment structure for children and families through teaching skills, building healthy relationships, empowering children and families to make decisions on their own, caring for children in a family-like environment and supporting children through religious values.
  • In 1941, Boys Town established the Father Flanagan’s Fund for Needy Children to provide support for current and future youth and family programs.
  • The Youth Mayor of the Village is elected by youth and sits on the Village Board to ensure that the town’s
  • rules and decisions consider the youth point of view.
  • On the Way Home helps ensure that adolescents with disabilities who require out-of-home care for behavior or academic problems can re-enter home and school with supports to succeed.
  • The Omaha Community Partnership is a coalition of school, community, private sector and government leaders that develops strategies to prevent juvenile crime, violence and illegal drug use in the Omaha area.
  • Family Teachers reside in Boys Town Family Homes to serve as parents and positive role models for six to eight troubled youth at a time.
  • The Reading is FAME curriculum is a research-based reading program that helps students that have low reading levels catch up with their peers.

Youth Voices

Before I came to Boys Town I was a follower. I had so much anger and sadness built up inside that I had no idea what to do with my feelings. They overwhelmed me and the only way I knew how to cope with them was through drugs. Boys Town helped me to grow – it has helped me find myself and it is giving me a future. Most importantly, it has taught me the skills to achieve that future.

—J.D.

Before I came to Boys Town, I was disrespectful toward my parents. I didn’t care about anything in life and I moved back and forth between both my parents’ houses every month. When I came to Boys Town, I became a whole new person. It helped me realize what things were getting in my way of becoming a success.

—K.W.