Our History

Eagles-Nest-HistoryThough it officially launched in the fall of 2009, Eagle’s Nest really got its start roughly 25 years earlier. At that time a young Christian named George A. Duncan was volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters and at a lock-up facility for young offenders in Detroit. Here Mr. Duncan noticed something that would change the course of his life: through interacting with young offenders, studying their files, and interviewing their parents, he came to the conclusion that the majority of crimes these young men committed could have been prevented through early intervention strategies.

Mr. Duncan was already well-acquainted with troubled youth, having earlier worked as a police officer in his hometown of Albion, Michigan, and later as a youth worker in a large residential facility there. Mr. Duncan recognized common characteristics shared by most of the troubled young men he had encountered both in Albion and Detroit: they tended to have no father at home or any other positive male role model in their lives, and many had experienced serious abuse of one kind or another. With such backgrounds, it was no wonder that these young men got into trouble–first as children in school and later as juvenile offenders.

Though deeply troubled by his observations, George Duncan was also inspired. Unlike the young offenders he worked with, he had grown up in a loving, intact family. Furthermore, through the inspiration of his godly grandmother and the urging of a cousin, he had committed his life to Christ at the age of 22. Now Mr. Duncan began to sense that the Lord was using his observations as a policeman, youth worker, and volunteer to give him a vision for his life’s work. This vision could be summed up in just two words: “building boys.”

In order to prepare himself to fulfill this vision, Mr. Duncan eventually left law enforcement and attended a two-year Bible School; here he experienced a renewed sense of calling to somehow help boys grow into healthy, godly men. While in Bible school, he married his wonderful wife, Tanya, and a few years later in 1994 they moved to the Boston area where Mr. Duncan continued to prepare for his calling by furthering his education, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Boston College.

By 1998 Mr. Duncan had become a teacher in the ethnically-diverse Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. When he realized how many of his male students would hang around after class had been dismissed for the day, he recognized that the time had finally come to put his God-given vision into action. Soon he had helped to launch an after-school program aimed at supporting the academic, social, and moral development of his school’s boys. Because the program encouraged its participants to approach school as a mission, Mr. Duncan named it “Boys on a Mission.”

By all measures, Boys on a Mission was a great success and met with strong support from students, parents, and staff. The boys who were involved increased their completion of in-class assignments and homework, and disciplinary problems at the school decreased dramatically. Because it was a public school program, however, Boys on a Mission had one big drawback: it could not introduce boys to the love and transforming power of God.

Mr. Duncan left his teaching job in 2003 and while waiting for the right opportunity to start a boy-building Christian ministry, he worked for several non-profit after-school and summer educational programs. Finally, in 2009 the Marie LeDoux Foundation heard about Mr. Duncan’s vision and donated money to launch the Eagle’s Nest Learning Center.

After so many years of preparing to fulfill his vision, Mr. Duncan now gets to live it out on a daily basis. In his role as Eagle Nest’s director, he has a close-up view of God’s transforming work and gets to play a part in building at-risk boys into strong, successful men.