Grazed to Life

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DiVante received the “Leader of the Week” award recently. He displays the certificate in his bedroom as motivation to stay on task in the Day Reporting Program.

It started with the death of his beloved grandmother. Then came the anger and resentment that developed into aggressive outbursts. Shards of glass from shattered windows and broken TVs served as visible reminders of his growing rage. DiVante’s downfall worsened as his disrespect for his mother grew and he began running away. Serving jail time, house arrest and probation for auto theft didn’t even faze this reckless boy. He was going downhill and he was going fast, all before he was even old enough to legally drive.

In early 2019, DiVante’s downward spiral hit rock bottom one evening when yet another poor choice led the 15 year old to a party at a friend’s house. At first, everything was as usual. There was music, alcohol, drugs and carefree teens. But suddenly gun shots sprayed through the crowded party and chaos overtook the relaxed atmosphere. DiVante was grazed by a stray bullet.

Thankfully DiVante’s life was spared that night, but after the shooting, a lot changed for the young teen. “After the shooting, I never went outside,” said DiVante. “It shocked me so bad.”

The gravity of realizing he was mere inches from being dead was the turning point for the teenager. DiVante started listening to his mom and worked towards making better choices. He was also connected with Omaha Home for Boys new Day Reporting Program where he says, “Everything changed.”

DiVante comes to Omaha Home for Boys to attend Day Reporting every afternoon where he has made tremendous strides in improving his attitude. “Before when people would talk to me, I didn’t look them in the eyes. If they would say the wrong thing to me, I would just snap,” said DiVante. “When I came here to OHB, I learned how to stay focused and let the negativity go one way and the positive go one way to get on the right path.”

Additionally, DiVante has learned numerous life skills that will serve him well for many years to come. He has completed lessons in money management, health and wellness, and apartment living and he has even completed his resume and participated in a mock interview conducted by Omaha Home for Boys staff.

Because of the small class sizes and individual mentoring provided through Day Reporting, DiVante has also been able to foster his love for cooking. He and his peers participated in a cooking competition based off of the popular television series Chopped. The youth were in charge of researching recipes, grocery shopping within a budget, preparing food and presenting their dishes before a panel of judges. DiVante’s garlic parmesan wings won top prize in the main dish category. DiVante is also taking steps towards achieving his dream of becoming a professional chef by applying for jobs in the food industry.

DiVante serves up the cheesecake he prepared in a recent cooking competition at Omaha Home for Boys.

Rita Dantzler, a Youth Care Worker at Omaha Home for Boys who works closely with DiVante speaks highly of the positive transformation he has made due to his perseverance. “He’s been a gift and I am so proud of him,” said Rita. “DiVante is a positive influence on other youth. He’s a leader.”

It took one bullet and a few inches to make DiVante realize that he needed to change his ways and fortunately, Omaha Home for Boys has been here to help him along the way.

Without You, Where Would DiVante Be?

Without the support of generous donors like you, where would DiVante be today? Truant from school? Maybe in jail? Or even worse, dead? Your gift to the Home today will help us continue to save and change the lives of young men just like DiVante. Please give today!

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About Day Reporting

The Home’s Day Reporting Program launched in November 2018 and is one of the services provided through the Clinical Services Program. Day Reporting is a daily program for youth who are struggling in their current environment and are in need of additional structure and activity. Youth are court ordered to attend Day Reporting.

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