BOYS TOWN, Neb. (KMTV) — In 1926, Father Edward Flanagan established a system of self-government at the Village of Boys Town.
Each year, a new student is elected mayor.
Maddie Hagan has just completed her term as Boys Town's 121st mayor.
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."
Tony Jones, vice president of the Successful Futures Program at Boys Town, described Hagan as a natural leader.
"She embodied what Father Flanagan's mission was. And that is to help young people to become the best they can become," Jones said.
Who Hagan is today stands in contrast to who she was three years ago, when she came to Boys Town.
"I thought I would be leaving within the week," Hagan said.
However, she began to develop trust and grow.
"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."
Hagan says she was "very broken" when she arrived on campus.
Today, she's confident and excited about her future which includes an internship at Boys Town she's already secured.