Tomball - Magnolia Edition | October 2021

NONPROFIT Boys andGirls Country 50-year-old nonprot oers children in crisis housing, hope C hildren experiencing behavioral issues, neglect or abuse or whose parents struggle to provide basic needs can nd a loving, nurtur- ing home at Boys and Girls Country in Hockley, CEO Vincent Duran said. “Most of them were coming from an unstable home environment; they were running with the wrong crowd; they were not succeeding in school; and many times, their family is living below the poverty level,” Duran said. “On the streets in Houston, they’re surviving—but here at Boys and Girls Country, they’re thriving.” The faith-based nonprot was founded in 1971 and has since served more than 1,600 children. The property has 11 cottages designed for eight students each and “teaching parents,” married couples and single adults who live on-site full- time and try to make life as normal as possible for the children. Teaching parents prepare meals; attend the children’s sporting events; take them to medical appointments; help with homework; and teach them life skills such as cooking, driving and cleaning laundry, Duran said. Malcolm Guerra serves as the organization’s director of the college and career program as well as the Boys Community director, but he started out as a teaching parent and alongside his wife helped raise 27 girls over a 10-year period. He recalls reading Bible stories to the younger children every night before bedtime. One night, the oldest student in the house, a 17-year-old, told him she had never had anyone read her a bedtime story as a child. “So at 17, I read her her rst bedtime story. It’s those little moments that I think, ‘God, what a privilege I have to be able to be in this role, to be here for these kids,’” Guerra said. “I think most of our teaching parents feel the same way. They have those little breakthroughs with the kids, and I like



Boys and Girls Country has served hundreds of children since launching 50 years ago.

Tom “Tommy” Robinson founds a nonprot Christian home for boys called Boys Country. The campus includes three mobile buildings, a metal building and its rst dormitory under construction.

Local nonprot Boys and Girls Country has helped meet the physical, social, emotional and educational needs of children in crisis for ve decades. (Courtesy Boys and Girls Country)

Construction begins on a nearby 40-acre Girls Country campus.

to tell people there are little miracles that happen here every day.” Students living at Boys and Girls Country attend Waller ISD, but because many are behind their peers academically when they arrive, Duran said they also have a full-time director of education who helps close that gap. A dedicated director of cam- pus ministry and counseling sta are also available to meet spiritual and emotional needs. Boys and Girls Country also has a college and career program that continues to support students once they graduate high school and helps them become self-sustaining adults. Duran said he hopes to build a new college and career campus to provide housing and other resources to support those students. Ocials are also in the process of rebuilding all cottages on the property, which provide each child with their own bedroom, bathroom and closet, Guerra said. Because Boys and Girls Country is privately funded, leadership relies on the generosity of local businesses, churches and individuals to operate and support children whose families are in crisis. Community members can also volunteer their time to work with the students and contribute to campus projects. “We want the community to know that we are a resource for them, so if there is a family that’s struggling ... because there are some stressors in their home life, we’re here to help them,” Duran said.

Boys Country and Girls Country are combined. Each cottage is set up to accommodate eight children. Houseparents and relief sta start a comprehensive training program focusing on the children’s changing needs. Boys and Girls Country celebrates its 50th anniversary and becomes a nationally accredited children’s home through the Council on Accreditation.


Boys andGirls Country 18806 Roberts Road, Hockley 281-351-4976





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