Our old-fashioned lessons about life
We work hard to instill solid values in the boys who come here, so that they can build adult lives that are productive, fulfilling and successful.
Getting along in life doesn’t require agreeing with everyone around you. But it does take respect for others … and especially respect for yourself. By helping our boys see their own worth and potential, they grow into men who can find value in all the people they encounter as they build their lives.
A recent first-time visitor to Boys Home told us he noticed something immediately … the young men he met looked him in the eye. These weren’t ordinary teenagers. Instead of being cool or remote to an adult stranger, they were engaged.
Because of their backgrounds, many of the boys who come here are initially brittle, or even hostile. But our communal living and caring adult supervision can quickly show a young man who’s seen more than his share of turmoil that life and relationships can offer much more.
No one forces our boys to stand when an adult approaches, to offer a chair out of courtesy, or to say “please” and “thank you.” Those quickly become habits as each new student learns the invaluable lesson that giving respect also earns him respect.
No life is complete without a spiritual component. As an outreach of the Episcopal Church, we encourage students of all religions to uncover and embrace that part of themselves as a step in growing toward a mature, balanced life.
When boys come to “The Hill,” they’ve often faced challenges like poverty, failure in school or an unstable home life. Given that, many have questions, fears and reservations.
Faith has been part of the Boys Home mission since 1906. After all, it takes faith to welcome a boy confidently and to offer him a better way of life. With our on-campus chapel and Chaplain, boys have time to develop a unique understanding of their relationship with God.
This heritage is a fundamental part of the Boys Home experience. By showing young men a life model of ethical, caring people with a spiritual mission, we offer them the chance to gain the wisdom that flows from a spiritual foundation.
Our boys rake the yard. They tend to livestock. They do their homework and get to bed on time. And this adds shape to life, so they become men of purpose and integrity, one little step at a time.
Many of the first students of Boys Home had little or no education when they arrived. But they did know work.
In 1906, boys pitching in with chores was an important part of keeping this place running, and work remains a big part of life here. And it means much more than an attractive, well-kept campus … it introduces the boys to the importance of discipline driven by values.
At Boys Home, we believe that it doesn’t take a mobile app, an army of “experts” or a cabinet full of medications to grow an outstanding man. All it takes is a stiff broom, a hot iron, a full notebook and a loud alarm clock to put men on the path to responsibility.
You can see it in their eyes, and it’s a moment teachers live for. It’s that instant when a young man discovers an idea or a subject that really excites him, and gives his life new direction. When natural curiosity blooms, and it’s acknowledged and supported, a life of learning — and meaning — becomes a real possibility.
Many boys come to our school several grade levels behind their peers. We offer them more than school … we give them a solution.
By showing them a new way to look at learning, we help them catch up. And with a 3 to 1 pupil/teacher ratio, supported by understanding and attention, amazing things happen.
We can boast of annual gains of more than three grade levels in math, and at least two levels in reading. And along with academic results, they learn better study skills and their behavior improves, too.
Imagine the impact that can have on a boy’s growth, development and feelings of worth! And once he’s caught up with others his age and transitioned to public schools, a dramatically different future becomes attainable.
Our goal isn’t to build CEOs or senators. We believe that an outstanding man is one who can hold a job, stay out of trouble, and pay his bills. A man is as good as he can be when he works hard, loves his wife, and raises kids with good values. That’s something to celebrate.
Of the thousands of boys who’ve passed through Boys Home, many have gone on to accomplish remarkable things in their lives. As gratifying as that is, our mission was – and is – much more basic than producing “stars.”
By giving young men structure, education, and spirituality, and by demonstrating a real commitment to their needs, we give them a real chance to succeed in the world.
And if success is putting in a hard day’s work as a mechanic, coming home tired every night and loving and supporting a family, we’ve done our work. The world needs more responsible men, and that’s who we help create at Boys Home.