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Boys Town Hosts National Night Out Event Town Hosts National Night Out Event<p>On August 2<sup>nd</sup>, Boys Town's Home Campus hosted a National Night Out event for the youth and employees in the Family Home Program.</p><p>National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live.</p><p>Boys Town youth enjoyed learning more about police officers, firefighters, and security officers while partaking in fun activities such as a dunk tank, cornhole, and a water competition.</p><p>Boys Town would like to thank the Boys Town Police Department, the Boys Town Fire Department, the Omaha Police Department, and all other service agencies who participated in the event!</p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/National-Night-Out-1.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:285px;" /> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/National-Night-Out-2.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:286px;" /><br></p><p><br></p>2022-08-12T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/National-Night-Out-sm-bnr.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/National-Night-Out-0.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
11th Annual Blue Water Bash – A “Splashing” Success Annual Blue Water Bash – A “Splashing” Success<p> <span class="img-zoom posR img-sm">​​​ <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/blue-water-bash-2022-1.jpg" data-action="zoom" alt="" /></span>More than 250 guests attended the 11<sup>th</sup> Annual Blue Water Bash, held on July 30, at the Boys Town Okoboji Camp.  This year's event was a “splashing" success, raising more than $200,000 to be used for winterizing the camp for year-round fun.</p><p>Guests enjoyed a beautiful, summer evening with delicious food, live and silent auctions and remarks from the event chairs, Jamin and Scott Trautman. Residents of the Skartvedt Family Home offered stories about what makes summers at Okoboji so special and​​ a Boys Town youth shared the story of her life-changing journey at Boys Town.</p><p>This compelling story made the Blue Water Bash truly meaningful for all the guests, who later celebrated the evening with dancing and entertainment by B2wins and DJ Ness, and lakeside views of the Arnold's Park fireworks show.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 31815644-2d26-490a-87b7-8d358d3e7374" id="div_31815644-2d26-490a-87b7-8d358d3e7374" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_31815644-2d26-490a-87b7-8d358d3e7374" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>Boys Town extends a heart-felt thank you to all the gracious donors and sponsors who contributed to this year's event. Your generous support affords our youth and families the opportunity to experience the memory-making joy of a safe and memorable family vacation.</p><p>If you were unable to attend and would like to learn more about the Blue Water Bash or donate, it's not too late. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Our supporters and donors help to fund camp expenses, including food, supplies, upgrades and equipment. But there are many other ways you can support Boys Town, including sharing your time and talents. To learn more, please reach out to <a href=""></a>.</p>2022-08-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/blue-water-bash-2022-2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
In the News: ‘Maddie the Mayor’ Reflects on Time as Mayor of Boys Town the News: ‘Maddie the Mayor’ Reflects on Time as Mayor of Boys Town<p>​<a href="">This article was posted by KMTV on June 13, 2022.</a><br></p><p>BOYS TOWN, Neb. (KMTV) — In 1926, Father Edward Flanagan established a system of self-government at the Village of Boys Town.</p><p>Each year, a new student is elected mayor.</p><p>Maddie Hagan has just completed her term as Boys Town's 121st mayor.</p><p>She campaigned on a message of "one love," as she described it, during the pandemic. "When we were apart, unifying the campus," Hagan continued. "We are a family."</p><p>Tony Jones, vice president of the Successful Futures Program at Boys Town, described Hagan as a natural leader.</p><p>"She embodied what Father Flanagan's mission was. And that is to help young people to become the best they can become," Jones said.</p><p>Who Hagan is today stands in contrast to who she was three years ago, when she came to Boys Town.</p><p>"I thought I would be leaving within the week," Hagan said.</p><p>However, she began to develop trust and grow.</p><p>"My reaction was very hesitant towards how they were treating me because, in my past, I was only shown kindness and niceness if it was in (the) benefit of someone else for an ulterior motive. And with the Skartvedts (family-teachers), with Boys Town, there's no ulterior motive other than making you better (by) helping you. I think, when that clicked, things just started rolling."</p><p>Hagan says she was "very broken" when she arrived on campus.</p><p>Today, she's confident and excited about her future which includes an internship at Boys Town she's already secured.​<br></p>2022-06-20T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Maddie" src="/PublishingImages/Blog/Maddi-beacon-banner.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
In the News: New 988 Mental Health Hotline Rollout in Nebraska the News: New 988 Mental Health Hotline Rollout in Nebraska<p>​​ <a href="" target="_blank"><em>This article was posted by WOWT on June 14, 2022.</em></a><em> </em></p><p>OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - 911 is the universal number for help, soon 988 will be the number to call for mental health emergencies.</p><p>6 News is On Your Side with what you'll want to know about the rollout in Nebraska.</p><p>The current 11-digit number for the <a href="" target="_blank">National Suicide Hotline </a>is being shrunk down to save lives.</p><p>“We recognize that when people are in a crisis it can be difficult to remember a longer digit number, which is why we are moving into that 988 direction," said Michelle Nunemaker.</p><p>988 is intended to combat the growing problem of mental health issues in America. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people.</p><p>By July 16th all service providers will support 988 and when you dial the number you'll be routed to local responders.</p><p>“If you are calling 911 and it was handled on a national basis that would be very confusing. With this transition to where I'm calling 988 locally, I'm talking to people locally, I'm connected to services locally," said Kyle Kinney, program manager at Boys Town.</p><p>All 988 calls in Nebraska will go through ​<a href="/hotline/Pages/default.aspx?_gl=1%2a1por5e%2a_ga%2aMzQyMTM5NzY2LjE1NDkzMDk3MjA.%2a_ga_LR5Y032XEE%2aMTY1NTQ5NjQ5Mi4xMzUuMS4xNjU1NDk2OTE3LjA." target="_blank">Boys Town</a> but working the national hotline is not new for them.</p><p>“Boys Town, we've been operating it for Nebraska since it began in 2005, so very much feel prepared for that transition. very excited about it," said Kinney.</p><p>Kinney says that crisis counselors are trained in suicidology, crisis de-escalation, safety planning, and Nebraska resource navigation. But if a situation does need emergency services like 911, the hotline is equipped to forward those calls.</p><p>With an easier number to remember, Kyle Kinney anticipates a higher volume of callers but says he's excited to continue servicing the community.</p><p>988 is funded by the state and federal government but officials at Boys Town say they can always use volunteers to support operations.​<br></p><p>​</p>2022-06-20T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town - New 988 number for the Hotline" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/988.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Safe 2 Help App Allows for Anonymous Reporting of School Safety Threats in all Nebraska Schools 2 Help App Allows for Anonymous Reporting of School Safety Threats in all Nebraska Schools<p>​<em>​​This article was originally written by Jon Kipper on May 27, 2022 and posted on </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em>.</em><br></p><p></p><p>School safety is on the forefront of nearly every parent's mind right now and it's something that Nebraska schools have recently honed in on using technology.</p><p>The Safe 2 Help app started in the Omaha area. It was so widely successful that its use was expanded across the state.</p><p>1,300 reports have been made so far, some of which may have quietly saved lives.</p><p>“We are excited because yes, we are making a difference," said Jolene Palmer, Director of School Safety for the Nebraska Department of Education.</p><p>After legislative approval last year, the app is available to every school in Nebraska.</p><p>Palmer said the app gives voice to the voiceless and is 100% anonymous, which can be an especially helpful feature for rural schools.</p><p>“Everybody knows who comes out of the principal's office, everybody knows who comes out of a counselor's office and then there's a little bit of hubbub and then they start talking to students and everybody knows then who has told," said Palmer.</p><p>The way it works is simple.</p><p>Students, staff and individual can make a report on the app. The report then goes to experts at Boys Town who decide whether it's a life-threatening matter and tell law enforcement, or simply inform school staff.</p><p>Palmer said the expertise of Boys Town is key.</p><p>“It is a natural fit that they have been phenomenal partners."</p><p>The most frequent reports are mental health-related issues, suicide concerns and bullying, but Boys Town has received dozens of reported threats as well: some of which were deemed credible.</p><p>“We know that six of them actually ended up being credible threats and were thwarted," said Palmer.</p><p>All schools located within Sarpy County have another way to report potential threats to school safety called "TIPS," which schools receive directly and can relay to law enforcement if the threat could be life-threatening.</p><p>Check out the full story from <a href="$" target="_blank">KMTV</a> and <a href="$" target="_blank">Omaha World Herald</a>.<br></p>2022-06-03T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Safe2Help" src="/PublishingImages/Blog/safe2help-banner.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town celebrates class of 2022 graduates amid nationwide rise in teen anxiety and depression Town celebrates class of 2022 graduates amid nationwide rise in teen anxiety and depression<p><em>​This article was originally written by Laura Sambol and published on </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em> on May 13, 2022.</em></p><p>OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Boys Town class of 2022 is graduating from high school.</p><p>The celebration comes at a time when nationwide, teen anxiety and depression appear to be on the rise.</p><p>Boys To​wn is a local nonprofit specialized in helping children in need. There, hundreds of children live on a campus where they receive care and guidance for a wide range of behavioral, emotional and academic issues.</p><p>Student Maddie Hagan is reaching a milestone she never thought possible.</p><p>“I'm glad I made it to this point because three years ago I never imagined I'd graduate from high school," Hagan said.</p><p>The 18-year-old is one of 55 students in her class. Many students came from cities overcome by gangs, or towns torn apart by addiction.</p><p>Hagan says Boys Town helped her turn her life around. She said, “Before coming to Boys Town I was a really broken individual. Here I am rest assured that when I go to bed at night I'm in a safe place, and a lot of people can't say that."</p><p>Executive Director of Home Campus, Angela Powers, says Hagan's story is not unique.</p><p>“Our kids come from all different backgrounds," Powers said. “They have issues with behaviors, issues with mental health. They've been through more in their lives that most people will ever have to endure."</p><p>Powers said she noticed even more kids struggling during the pandemic.</p><p>“I would say over the past few years we are seeing more anxiety and depression. We are absolutely seeing it being a challenge for kids to really go outside their comfort zone," she said.<br></p><p>Hagan considers herself fortunate. During her time at Boys Town, she got involved with soccer, swimming and cross county. Hagan joined the National Honor Society and became the 121st mayor of Boys Town.</p><p>Hagan plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha starting this summer.</p><p>Check out the full story on <a href="$" target="_blank">WOWT</a>.<br></p><p>​</p>2022-05-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Graduates" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/2022-Graduation.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Colby Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland Elected 122nd Mayor of Boys Town Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland Elected 122nd Mayor of Boys Town<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">​BOYS TOWN, Neb. – Boys Town youth today elected Colby Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland, the 122</span><sup style="background-color:transparent;">nd</sup><span style="background-color:transparent;"> Mayor of the Village of Boys Town.</span><span style="background-color:transparent;"> </span><span style="background-color:transparent;">​</span></p><p>Colby Johnson is 17-years-old, and his campaign theme was: Happiness for everyone throughout the campus. “I believe as Mayor I can set a good example and be a role model for all of campus," said Johnson. “I want to achieve happiness around the Boys Town community and be an encouraging leader."<br></p><p>Colby plays for the Boys Town Football team and participates in Track and wrestling. Colby plans to attend the University of Delaware State and study Sport Management. His Family-Teachers are George and Karie Woki.​<br></p><p>Father Edward J. Flanagan conceived the self-government system at the Village of Boys Town in 1926 as a tool for its citizens to build character, citizenship and a sense of community. The process was made famous in the 1938 Academy Award-winning movie “Boys Town," where Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Whitey Marsh, a tough young boy who turns his life around and becomes Mayor of Boys Town.<br></p>2022-05-09T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/2022Mayor_Colby.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent