For one young man, known as Junior to those who are close to him, this is his mantra. Junior is a well-known personality at Boysville. Known for his kind heart and dedication to his goals, he is a role model for others on campus.
On any given day, even in the Texas heat, Junior is seen jogging around campus or working on his punching bag as he readies himself to join the United States Marine Corps. That is, when he isn’t working at one of his two jobs or attending community college.
As a teen, Junior struggled to finish his high school credits. Stephanie Harvey, our Supervised Independent Living Director, gave Junior the confidence and guidance to continue working towards his high school diploma. His already full schedule made completing the course difficult. However, with his characteristic commitment, Junior accomplished the inspiring task of earning his G.E.D. in just five months. Now, 22, Junior is ready to face his next challenge.
At the suggestion of his recruiter, Junior is attending his first year of community college. Junior’s ultimate goal is to become a military policeman.
“The Marines are the most disciplined and knowledgeable branch of the military,” said Junior. This speaks to his amazing personality and the characteristics that Junior embodies.
By the time Diamond was 15, he had already attended 16 schools. He was behind academically. He had become frustrated with his situation. He needed a glimmer of hope. Hope came when he found Boysville.
“My mother was a young mother with no real support system, so she made the best with what she could.” said Diamond. “My dad was incarcerated when I was young.”
When Diamond arrived in the shelter at age 15, he had already been written off by the system that was supposed to save him.
“Boysville offered stability,” said Diamond. “I started my sophomore year living at Boysville. I had the opportunity to grow…knowing I was going to eat three meals a day plus two snacks, knowing that my clothes were going to be washed and knowing that I had clothes.”
At Boysville, he was surprised to have so many adults want him to succeed. As he was behind academically, Boysville provided tutoring, as well as enrolled him into an evening credit recovery class so he could graduate on time.
“Boysville really is like a family,” said Diamond. He saw that the staff was really committed to his own personal development and growth. “To have people actually believe in you and want the best for you and who could see the best in you…I flourished.”
Diamond graduated and began his college career. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist in 2008. An entrepreneur, businessman and artist, Diamond currently owns and manages, L.e.d. Ninja Room Design.
Even more important than graduating from college is Diamond’s commitment to his family. He has been married to Monica for 12 years and has three children.
Diamond continues to give back to Boysville. He provides guidance to the youth living at Boysville. “I’ve mentored over 20 young men who lived at Boysville,” said Diamond. He shares his story with them to show that by making the right choices and taking advantage of the support system, they can be successful in life.
The Boysville Board of Directors kicked off the New Year with a new slate of leaders. Daniel Lasater, senior vice president with Texas Capital Bank accepted the gavel from outgoing president, David Angulo, law partner for GCAK, Inc. Lasater praised Angulo for his yearlong commitment to leadership over the 75-year-old agency.
Paula Tucker with David Angulo, Board President 2017
Joining Lasater on the leadership committee: Nicholas Valenti, an investment advisor for Platinum Wealth Services will serve as vice president; Scott Matlock, senior vice president for Broadway Bank will serve as treasurer and Chad Lewis, sales representative for Stryker, Corp will serve as secretary.
David Angulo with Daniel Lasater, Board President 2018
New members on the board include Mae Escobar, owner of aMAEzing events and Shirley Sharon, vice president with Frost.
The Boysville board includes:
Brandon Arceneaux (Reeltime Partner, LLC); Ted Cleveland (EFI Global, Inc.); Ben Crawford (Rush Enterprises, Inc.); Mae Escobar (aMAEzing Marketing Group, LLC); John Hanna (Texas State Farm); David Luschen (City Public Service); Casandra Matej (Visit San Antonio); Richard O’Neil (Davison, Troilo, Ream, & Garza); Chad Ogden (Center for Disease Detection, LLC); John Robb (Frost); Vaughan Ruple ( Edward Jones Investments); Sharon Shirley (Frost); Tom Shank (Pfizer Innovative Health); Cathy Smith (Synergy Media & Advertising); Ray Stadler (Stadler Custom Homes); Kathryn Stohr (Boysville Auxiliary & Thrift Store); Mike Yantis (Yantis Company).
Board Retreat 2018
The board attended a half-day retreat to discuss the strategic plan for Boysville and goals for 2018.
Boysville, Inc., established in 1943, began as a home for orphaned boys. Today, Boysville cares for boys and girls, birth through 23, who cannot remain in their home due to abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Boysville’s mission is to provide a safe, family environment for children in need so that they may become responsible adults.
Boysville, in collaboration with Over the Edge Global and Marriott RiverCenter Hotel, brings an unforgettable experience to San Antonio! A Two-Day Urban Rappelling Fundraising Event benefiting the children of Boysville. This adrenaline-packed signature rappelling event, April 6-7, 2018, is designed for individuals or teams and requires no pre-training regimen. The ideal “Edger” is any man, woman, or child (with waiver) who is 16 or older and who raises $1,000 for the kids of Boysville.
Tyrese holds the record for the fastest completion of a Rubik’s cube on campus. It only takes him 34 seconds and he can easily do it blindfolded. Tyrese gives us one of his signature smiles as he is showing us just one of his many skills.
At 18, Tyrese is an easy going young man. Always smiling and he always has a story to tell. Since he arrived with his siblings five years ago, he has been brightening our daily life with jokes and laughter. As one of the senior boys on campus, Tyrese is often looked to as a big brother and a role model with good reason; he knows how to be a success.
At 16, Tyrese began working at Bill Miller’s with the goal in mind to save for his first car. Since then, he has combined those earnings with the allowance he receives from Boysville to purchase his first car. But first, he had to get his driver’s license. Recently Tyrese finished his driving requirements, with the help of his brave mentor, and now has his license and a car.
At one point, Tyrese was moved from Boysville to a foster home in the community. His case manager thought it would be a good fit for him.
“I knew as soon as I got there that I needed to go back to Boysville,” said Tyrese. He found that it was not as supportive and caring as Boysville. Ultimately, he called Paula Tucker, Boysville’s CEO and asked to come back.
“Tyrese is a smart young man,” said Paula. “All children should be find permanency in the community. Unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Tyrese advocated for himself to come back to Boysville. He called me directly and, of course, I said he could come back. He is thriving here.”
Now a Senior in high school. Tyrese is ready to start tackling the responsibility of adulthood.
“I wanted to get acclimated. I’m an adult now, and I wanted to start living with those responsibilities,” said Tyrese.
Tyrese has moved into our Supervised Independent Living Program. This program allows, youth to continue living at Boysville while attending school rather than aging out of the system. He is now responsible for managing his own time between school, work, and his responsibilities at home.
“It’s challenging, but if you can multitask and prioritize, it’s easy,” said Tyrese. “For instance, if I’m tired, I know it’s my responsibility to make sure I get up and go to school.”
Tyrese regularly challenges himself at school. He participates in DECA, a student organization that prepares young adults for career and college readiness through community oriented marketing and finance projects. In addition, he is in a career prep course that allows him to receive course credit for working.
Tyrese has also been attending an SAT Prep course on the Boysville campus to prepare for his upcoming college applications. He plans to apply to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. With the support of his Boysville family, and his signature tenacity, Tyrese will succeed in anything he sets his mind on in the future.
Lourdes and Henry Aguilera have opened their home and hearts to over 17 foster children.
At any given time, Lourdes and Henry Aguilera house is full of children. Since 2011, the Aguileras have opened their home and hearts to over 17 foster children.
When asked why they would take on the challenge of being foster parents, their answer was simple, ͞”to help children.”͟
Their dedication to helping children in need is what makes them one of our most successful foster families. They understand that every child has their own unique history and personality, and they welcome them with open arms. As a family, they work to ensure that every child is treated with respect and compassion. From the moment they arrive, that foster child is a part of their family.
For one little boy, this was the best gift the Aguileras could have given him. Adrian* struggled with math, but had a dream to be on the A-honor roll. However, he was so far behind in school that it was very difficult for him to catch up. ͞
”He would cry and say he couldn’t do it,”͟ said Lourdes. ͞”But I wouldn’t let him quit.” Together, they achieved his goal.
Although being a foster parent means that one day their children will leave them to reunite with their families or find a new home through adoption, each child holds a special place in their hearts. ͞
”You can say you won’t get attached, but you always do.”