From Uganda to Nebraska, A Bumpy Road: Emmanuel’s Story

From Uganda to Nebraska, A Bumpy Road: Emmanuel’s Story
April 11, 2017

As a child, Emmanuel’s mother died in a refugee camp in Uganda. He came to America with his father and brother. They were placed in Nebraska.

Since he could not speak English very much at all, living in Nebraska was difficult for Emmanuel. Through his school days, he struggled in classes, and eventually received negative attention from his peers as he grew older. This was exacerbated by a challenging life at home with his father.

His first experience with the juvenile justice system was at age 14, when he was arrested for possession of drugs. Emmanuel was put on probation with electronic monitoring.

Near the end of his sentence, he was out with a friend who got into an altercation with the police. When Emmanuel stepped in to try to diffuse the situation and calm his friend down, he was charged with obstruction of justice and was committed to Douglas Youth Center for four months.

Those four months were a miserable time, but after his time in Douglas, he was sent to Boys Town, a residential treatment alternative to detention that follows a family model -- young people live in a highly structured home with an adult couple who act as “parents.” At Boys Town, he took advantage of all the campus had to offer. Emmanuel got involved with sports, he stayed busy with chores and learned a lot of decision-making skills in school and at home.

His teachers and family model provided him with a healthy support system.

“It was good for me to be in a structured family environment,” Emmanuel said; it was a community he had never been a part of before. He became a leader in his home, and still spends time with his Boys Town family on holidays.

When Emmanuel was ready to go home from Boys Town, his case worker learned that his father had gone to Uganda and had not returned. Rather than go into foster care, Emmanuel stayed with his Boys Town family for another year before heading straight into community college. He will graduate in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Criminal Justice, with a paying internship at the Douglas Youth Center, where he wants to help other young people who are looking for opportunities.

Boys Town is one of many community-based alternatives to incarceration proven to be effective in helping young people get their lives back on track. As growing number of states are reforming their juvenile justice approaches to connect more young people to the type of supports Emmanuel received.

The federal Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) enables states to provide alternatives to incarceration that save taxpayer dollars and lead to safer communities and healthier young people and families. It is long overdue for reauthorization in Congress and must be fully funded in order to ensure that more young people get access to the treatment and opportunities they need.

You can help: contact Congress, ask them to pass the JJDPA.

*Emmanuel has asked that we not use his full name, given the sensitive nature of this post


SparkAction compiled this profile based on Kim’s interview with Lisette Burton, the director of national advocacy for Boys Town.

Boys Town is a member of the Act4JJ Coalition, which advocates for the reauthorization and funding of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

This blog was produced as part of the #JJDPAmatters Blog series. Please use and share this post – all we ask is that you credit #JJDPAmatters and include a link to this page.



Share this SparkAction Link: click here to shorten
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

 air jordan shoes nike air max thea coach factory converse shoes hollister online michael kors outlet online sale boots on sale prada ralph lauren vikings jerseys northface thomas sabo uk michael kors v?skor coach outlet online burberry sale lakers jerseys ray ban sunglasses ferragamo shoes nike shop los angeles clippers jersey jordans replica watches burberry handbags kate spade outlet online philipp plein outlet cheap basketball shoes timberland femme baseball jerseys louboutin nike outlet hermes bags purses and handbags air max shoes barbour outlet philadelphia 76ers jerseys swarovski australia ralph lauren polo nike shoes toronto raptors jersey ralph lauren outlet ralph lauren outlet hermes longchamp salomon schuhe supra footwear panthers jerseys dolphins jerseys burberry outlet online eagles jerseys michael kors outlet online sale michael kors canada mbt shoes outlet burberry outlet beats by dr dre puma online roshe run the north face swarovski cheap nfl jerseys oakley outlet free running north face backpacks baseball jerseys nike outlet michael kors outlet cheap oakley nba jerseys lunette ray ban coach outlet online coach outlet soccer shoes nike air max montre homme coach outlet reebok prada shoes nike air max true religion jeans women michael kors red bottom shoes mcm bags louboutin shoes hollister kids steelers jerseys michael kors bags ferragamo shoes tommy hilfiger outlet coach outlet online burberry outlet coach purses outlet online michael kors outlet ferragamo nike air max shoes burberry sale baseball bats seahawks jerseys new balance oakley vault katespade michael kors handbags rayban burberry online shop oakley outlet 49ers jerseys swarovski crystal rolex watches oakley cheap michael kors fivefingers jerseys from china iphone case cheap oakley sunglasses nike schuhe nike roshe new balance ravens jerseys timberland boots polo ralph nike air max chrome hearts supra footwear tory burch outlet jerseys from china burberry michael kors ray bans coach factory outlet jordan retro longchamp outlet purses and handbags coach factory jimmy choo shoes mizuno wave nike air force air jordan retro longchamp outlet true religion michael kors outlet online dallas mavericks jerseys timberland shoes ray ban sunglasses outlet barbour jackets outlet asics the north face ralph lauren outlet lunette ray ban mcm handbags long champ nike huarache minnesota timberwolves jersey woolrich outlet polo ralph celine outlet burberry outlet online bcbg max azria polo ralph lauren outlet michael kors outlet nike shoes outlet pandora charms true religion jeans outlet utah jazz jersey michael kors uk hermes belt michael kors canada vans schuhe longchamp outlet new york knicks adidas canada levis jeans zapatillas nike oakley sunglasses glasses frames fendi handbags michael kors bags nike air max nfl jerseys rolex watch hollister clothing azcardinals jerseys mont blanc ray ban wayfarer nike free 5.0 denver nuggets jerseys nike mercurial vapor raiders jerseys ray ban outlet burberry outlet store ed hardy clothing nike shoes tracksuits store ralph lauren polos tommy hilfiger north face san antonio spurs jerseys knockoff handbags marc by marc jacobs north face michael kors air max ralph lauren outlet online ray ban omega watches oakley frogskins hogan outlet adidas superstar coach outlet online nike shoes pandora canada swarovski online long champ ralph lauren outlet online rams jerseys fossil uhren ralph lauren outlet chicago bulls jersey instyler ionic styler ralph lauren factory store fidget spinner outlet bills jerseys swarovski jewelry ralph lauren vans shoes ralph lauren outlet oakley canada nike free 5.0 nike tn true religion jeans tommy hilfiger texans jerseys michael kors purses burberry sale michael kors tommy hilfiger online jets jerseys baseball jerseys christian louboutin shoes air max soccer shoes outlet bears jerseys portland trail blazers jersey giuseppe zanotti sneakers cleveland cavaliers adidas online michael kors taschen ray bans ray ban zonnebril nike roshe indiana pacers jersey ray ban outlet hollister clothing store chi hair ray ban sonnenbrillen golden state warriors jersey mcm backpack oakley sunglasses outlet polo ralph lauren air max schoenen ray-ban sunglasses roshe run red bottoms hilfiger online shop roshe run cowboys jerseys katespade air max jaguars jerseys chi flat iron prada sunglasses buccaneers jerseys ralph lauren tommy hilfiger outlet stores coach factory shop lions jerseys air jordan falcons jerseys jerseys from china redskins jerseys new balance outlet new balance canada glasses online adidas online houston rockets jerseys browns jerseys the north face christian louboutin shoes air yeezy shoes michael kors outlet online sale pandora bracelet ray ban outlet adidas superstar timberland outlet michael kors outlet nike air max 90 marc by marc jacobs pandora burberry outlet coach outlet online wholesale clothing barbour factory dre beats puma outlet prada outlet true religion outlet salvatore ferragamo michael kors bags polo ralph lauren outlet online detroit pistons nike free run cheap oakley hollister kids burberry outlet oklahoma city thunder jersey christian louboutin phoenix suns jersey orlando magic jersey michael kors longchamp handbags saints jerseys bcbg max hogan outlet babyliss pro reloj beats headphones coach outlet canada nike free 5.0 nike shoes oakley rolex air max 2015 brooklyn nets jerseys abercrombie handbags outlet coach store coach factory outlet pandora schmuck asics gel the north face outlet coach black friday adidas cheap ray ban washington wizards jersey converse chucks indoor soccer shoes hogan ralph lauren outlet milwaukee bucks jersey coach outlet store online memphis grizzlies jersey givenchy outlet new orleans pelicans jersey hollisterco pandora barbour outlet patriots jerseys bengals jerseys michael kors outlet online louboutin shoes michael kors outlet online sale dsquared2 nike air jordan giuseppe shoes juicy couture handbags kate spade handbags versace outlet online jerseys from china michael kors charlotte hornets jerseys broncos jerseys north face outlet hoodies jordan release dates 2015 oakley sungalsses outlet atlanta hawks jerseys hugo boss shop air huarache michael kors plein shoes mcm backpack vans outlet huarache mcm backpack outlet air max celine bags bottega veneta prada outlet stephen curry shoes calvin klein underwear jimmy choo outlet north face jackets rolex watches for sale chargers jerseys oakley beats by dre nike store oakley sunglasses heat jerseys coach outlet online gafas oakley oakley sunglasses outlet longchamp taschen chiefs jerseys softball bats ralph lauren ray ban occhiali wedding dresses adidas superstar swarovski jewelry ecco outlet oakley sunglasses under armour shoes boston celtics jersey nike schoenen juicy couture outlet replica watches cheap true religion oakley vault iphone 5s cases new balance dsquared2 sale michael jordan barbour jackets sacramento kings jersey omega watches valentino outlet nike air max titans jerseys giants jerseys nike roshe watches canada thomas sabo armani outlet ray bans outlet burberry outlet online packers jerseys veneta cheap michael kors converse sneakers nfl jerseys lacoste shoes rayban polo outlet store ray ban wayfarer oakley sunglasses cheap colts jerseys converse outlet

July 22 at 04:47am
July 20 at 02:39am

Wow! It's great! Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.
instagram online

July 10 at 01:31pm


receive our updates

Spark Tweets