Boys Republic has entered its 110th year in service to troubled youth. I don’t know if the founders who incorporated Boys Republic on
July 1, 1907 could envision the role that BR would play in thousands of young lives over the next eleven decades of operations, but I know that each member of our Board of Directors and our Board of Advisors and each of our dedicated staff members is acutely aware of the difference that BR makes in the lives of its students.
Students are referred to Boys Republic by probation officers and juvenile court judges. These are typically young folks who’ve had more than one journey through our juvenile justice system. The earlier journeys had not produced the changes needed to become a good citizen and a productive member of our communities. Instead, the youth had re-offended.
Contrast that with the achievements of our students on campus and in our day treatment programs. With the guidance of our trained staff and based upon the honesty exhibited in group sessions with other students, our students take responsibility for their mistakes and, more than that, take responsibility for their own lives. Most students on our main Chino Hills campus take advantage of Boys Republic High School to catch up to grade level. They also learn skills that they can put to work when their time at Boys Republic comes to an end. Please take a look at the student outcomes highlighted on page 5.
Over the years, Boys Republic students have had the opportunity to learn masonry, metal working and printing. Our Boys Republic kitchen is the latest example of a vocational training course offered to many BR students. Boys Republic spent about $664,000 to install a student-operated bakery that prepares young job seekers to obtain entry-level jobs in the baking industry. With the guidance of Chef Kevin Brown, small classes of Boys Republic students learn how to bake breads and cakes and to make desserts in banquet quantities. Bakery goods are sold every week at the Chino Hills Farmers Market at The Shoppes. We’re pleased with the student bakery’s success and we are excited to report that a follow-up project — the Kitchen Replacement Project — will offer many more opportunities for students to learn the work habits and skills they will need in any entry-level restaurant job.
More changes are coming to Boys Republic. The State of California has enacted a law (AB 403) focused mainly on youth in the foster care system but affecting Boys Republic’s operations in the future. AB 403 will require Boys Republic to increase its staffing ratios and add a mental health component to its residential programs. Also, as a collaborative effort with Los Angeles County Probation Department and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, we have opened a new intensive day treatment program in El Monte that will serve up to 25 students at risk of school failure. Finally, we closed the underutilized Orange County Residence, a decision that has allowed us to consolidate staff and shift resources to other programs (please see articles,
The Board remains extremely grateful to the many donors who over the years have remembered Boys Republic in annual and estate gifts. We are able to continue to provide top flight services to troubled youth in large part due to those gifts. Thank you.