At a Crossroad

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Angel is all smiles at his graduation from Omaha Home for Boys Residential Care Program. He is pictured with Nicole Wagner.

Angel knew his past did not paint a very good picture for anyone looking to take a chance on him. His file was filled with a history of substance abuse issues, run-ins with the law, and burglary and weapons charges. The victim of an unstable childhood, he was dealing and using drugs when he was only 10 years old, a fourth grader.

Entrenched in gang activity and drug dealing in his teens, Angel was always on the run. He ran from danger and tried to escape the law. He ran from school and friends. He fled responsibility and accountability, but this was the only life that Angel knew. He did it for survival.

“I had every material thing you could ever want – cars, clothes, shoes, entertainment,” said Angel. “But none of it meant anything to me because I got it by using ‘dirty money,’ cash earned from the streets.”

In February of 2016 Angel’s running came to a halt when he was picked up by law enforcement after being reported a runaway a few months prior. Angel was only 16 years old and was facing a crossroad that could impact the rest of his life.

Getting his life back on track started for Angel when he was accepted and placed into the Omaha Home for Boys’ Residential Care Program. From the moment Nicole Wagner, Admissions and Family Services Manager at Omaha Home for Boys, met Angel she knew what was in his file did not portray his potential.

“Angel had much more insight on life than other teens and even many adults because of where he had been and what he had done in life,” said Nicole. “He knew he wanted to escape that life and was looking for guidance to help him make a new path.”

Guidance is exactly what he received at Omaha Home for Boys. While at the Home, Angel attended the on-campus school making up a lot of ground on the credits he lacked. He also received religious guidance from both his case manager and his house parents, attending church with them twice a week.

While Angel did a lot of growing up during his time at the Home, he was also relieved to be at a place where he could just be a kid, something he hadn’t experienced during his harsh childhood. He participated in the 4-H program, enjoyed playing video games and celebrated Halloween.

Angel speaks fondly of his house mother, Bejae Keil, and her lightheartedness. “Bejae really brought out the goofy side in me,” said Angel. “I enjoyed being able to relax and share some laughs without worrying about my old struggles.”

With the guidance received at Omaha Home for Boys, Angel successfully graduated from the program in November 2016, one week before his seventeenth birthday. After completing high school Angel hopes to use a scholarship provided by friends of the Home to pursue a degree in psychology or anthropology.

Thanks to your support, when Angel was at a critical crossroad in life, Omaha Home for Boys was here to help him choose the right path.

How You Can Help

Your gift to the Home will help other at-risk young men like Angel find their path to a brighter future. Please consider making your investment in our youth through an online donation or contact the development office for other giving options.


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