Boys Republic is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian school and treatment center for troubled teenagers. Since its founding in 1907, it has guided more than 30,000 at-risk boys and girls to productive, fulfilling lives. On its central school and farm in Chino Hills, California, and in residential and day treatment centers in other communities, Boys Republic and its companion program, Girls Republic, help children in desperate need find within themselves the resources and skills to begin meaningful lives on their own.
Founded on the principles of individual responsibility and self-respect, the nationally-regarded Boys Republic program gives its students a formal high school education, broad- based vocational training, extensive professional guidance and — very significantly — meaningful work that lets them learn the demands and enjoy the rewards of earning part of their own way. The success of the Boys Republic and Girls Republic programs has been dramatic. Virtually all students accepted by the agency are vulnerable, troubled youngsters, the products of childhood abuse, abandonment and neglect. Yet, despite such troubled pasts, the vast majority go on to lead productive, often noted lives.
Boys Republic's founder, Mrs. Margaret Brewer Fowler, inspired the Della Robbia wreath program in 1923. Mrs. Fowler had the youngsters in her care make Christmas wreaths as a way for them to earn money for craft projects and to stay busy during the holidays. Within a few years, the wreaths became so popular that they became a source of self-help funding for the school as well.
Della Robbia wreaths are still hand-made, one-at-a-time, providing meaningful after-school and week-end jobs to hundreds of students throughout the year while giving Boys Republic and Girls Republic a significant source of self-generated income to fund other programs that assist the youth in becoming self-sufficient and successful.