Hanna Boys Center

I’ve added a new TypePad category – Philanthropy – and I will be re-categorizing older posts on this topic into this category, so apologies for any re-publishing of old posts.

This week I had an opportunity to meet with two board members from the Hanna Boys Center an organization working with at-risk youth by helping them realize their potential that may be stymied by the environment they grow up in. If logistics work I will be speaking to the boys at some point. Below is a picture of me (far left) and a few of the boys and other board members and supporters.


If someone asked you what charitable causes you were passionate about, what would you say? Get involved and reach out.

7 comments on “Hanna Boys Center
  • i went to hanna
    it helped me somewhat
    but there are fatal flaws in the system. Above all else, they are a busniess, the goal of helping boys has been turned into a goal of “how good do we look to the community” that is wack. they need to staighten up or quit because at this point, they are not helping half as much boys as you think. only keeping them there and keeping them dumb and smiling for pictures. man,…
    if people only knew…

  • I also went to Hanna Boys Center. I was an interesting experience. Yet there system needs a lot of improvement. They treated me very much like a child there, even though I was more of an adult. I would dispute there system because there are flaws in it. I always wanted to go back and help the kids there yet I don’t believe I myself can shed light in there system.

  • I went to Hanna Center from September 1960 through June 1963. Wow! I left there almost 43 years ago. I left in the 10th grade. I went on to finish High School, graduate with a BA from college, spend 6 years in the Army, get married, have two children and six grandchildren. I also run my own business. For some of us the program there worked out just fine. Before I went there I had been in many foster homes and to put it mildly things were not going well. They helped turn me around and the past 43 years have been very fruitfull.

  • I’m an ex-Hanna boy, entered in 1976 at at age 14, left the Santa Rosa group home when I was 17 in 1979.Even though I appear to not be a complete mess, I’m one of the guys they don’t invite to alumni day. (I guess in the bad boy way, I made it!) Mixed feelings about the whole thing. For what it is, it could be far worse. Some good faculty- Mr. Skalicky, math teacher, helluva guy- Mr. Wilmarth, wood shop teacher, among others. But if you have been in trouble, like jail, you’re surrounded by peers that just school you on more ways to make trouble. The academic aspect is fine, (though I was sent to Cardinal Neuman in the group home, whose academic standards were a joke, though the girls at Ursiline were memorable!) and all along I can’t say Hanna isn’t TRYING to do the right thing, but in the end just made for a convenient place for my adoptive parents to dump me off for 3 years. Went I went home, 150 miles away,I was disoriented and unfocused with no sense of friends or community. The group home left me as an experienced substance abuser by then, (my job was at a local liquor store! who the hell let that happen!)Every weekend saw us tearing around Santa Rosa, drunk, stoned and/or worse with little real supervision. Sometimes I think most of the counselers had more problems than we did.
    After the Carter administration’s fine economic development policies left the mountain town we lived in with high 20’s in the employment figures, I went to “Hanna II”… the Navy.
    Pretty much treading water in a flailing economy, divorced, not happy, not unhappy. I offer neither credit nor blame to Hanna.
    As a place for parents to store their kids for a few years when the “cute” wears off, they are the best.
    It was my choice, the brochure made it look like summer camp. I would not do it again.If you’re out there somewhere, a big hell yeah to my best bud Charles Keith, and Rory Stevens, and David Sanner (who got in a fistfight with me on a weekly basis- I loved it) some of the bros from back in “the day”. Hope they’re as miserable as me. But no worse. 🙂
    John Lucier, San Diego, Ca. #082
    (c’mon, you’re not a Hanna boy without that damn number etched in your memory)

  • I attended Hanna from 1979-1982, and I have to say that it was pretty great! All sports, the oportunity to learn a musical instrument, a great wood shop with an even greater wood shop instructor. I thought it was great, and for what it’s worth, I was the kind of kid who spent his summer about four hours a day in the summer sickling the tall grass in the hill above Mt. Alverno, that is of course I wasn’t too busy doing one of Mr. K’s 10,000 word essays. There was one guy there that made it suck, and that person is one of the teachers. If you ever ran into him on a bad day, then you probably know who I am talking about, I’m talking about the asshole who like to beat up on kids, and at the time drove a Datsun 260z. Anyway, aside from the asshole I found the whole thing great.

  • WOW, all these ex-hanna boys and no real trun outs? I went from 97-99 and it was the best thing for me!!! i loved it, and hanna loved me. from the streets of vallejo to graduation at De La Salle high in concord!!! with out Hanna i would have never been exsposed to the good life i never new exsisted. I would like to point out Hanna is for those wishing to make a change in life, Hanna is not going to do it for you!!!! Thats the critical factor and I used it to my atvantage! So now i encourgage my 14 year old brother to attend Hanna and like my self go onto play football at De La and become what no one dreamed of!!!! H-B-C!!! FASHOE!!

  • I was a staff at Hanna Boys center from 1991 to the year 2000. I tend to agree with Mr. Vinnie Diaz’a account of Hanna Boys Center, that the boy needs to be ready and take advantage of the consistency and structure of the program. Vinnie is a shining example of a young man that came to Hanna, confused, yet committed to working the program and doing well, despite some minor issues. Great job Vinnie!!! You are truly an excellent role model and positive example of a maturing adult who is accepting responsibility for his actions….

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