Thriving: Maddie's Story
When Maddie arrived at Boys Town, she was an angry, neglected and broken girl. In her three years at Boys Town, Maddie has thrived on the unconditional love she received and was transformed into an honor student, who played on the Boys Town soccer team and competed in cross country. She earned the respect of her peers who elected her to serve as the 121st Mayor of the Village of Boys Town during her senior year.
Today, Maddie is poised to begin a bright new chapter in her life with the confidence that she can make a difference. She will be attending college, where she plans to study mental health with the hope of one day becoming a mental health specialist. In the years ahead, Maddie's goal is to help others just as she was helped through the love, guidance and encouragement that she received at Boys Town.
Maddie - My life before I came to Boys Town was pretty dark. It was pretty inconsistent in my household. A judge ordered me to Boys Town because they saw how my home life was going. And, they're like, "You need to get her out of there. She's going to Boys Town today." And two hours later, I was here at Boys Town.
So, my life flipped upside down in a day. Being in Kyle and Jodi's home, I was hoping to see what a family was supposed to be like. They had some real talks with me. And it was kind of uncomfortable at first because, like, being so honest, and it's, like, the feedback was harsh, but it was true.
You have the capability. Why aren't you using your talents that you have?
Father Boes - The new mayor-elect for Boys Town is Maddie Hagan. Let's hear it for her, woo.
Maddie - I saw running for mayor as a challenge and I wanted to do it. If I could give back to Boys Town in a way by representing it, like, that is a no-brainer. And people want to hear our stories. They want to hear about Boys Town. They want to know how they can help. And I just love being able to tell an audience about how great Boys Town is and how your donations, and your contributions, and whatever you're doing to support it matters.
It makes a difference. And if you can change one kid's life, it's worth it. Boys Town has given so much to me. Boys Town restored life into me. It restored hope because I came here very broken, and now, I'm leaving, confident in myself and my abilities, and knowing that I'll always have a support system, thanks to Boys Town.
And I could not have said that three years ago. I came here, 15 years old, and now, I'm graduating, 18 years old, going on to college.
Jodi - And you are a very different girl.
Maddie - Yes.
Jodi - Yes, you are.
Maddie - And I remember my first day being in the Skartvedt home, And I remember, I just bursted out crying and Jodi came. And this is a woman I have known for maybe five hours. And she came and she hugged me. And I was just crying on her shoulder, and this is a woman that I barely even knew. And she showed me more kindness within those two, three hours than I've ever received in my whole life.
So, that's why Kyle and Jodi saved my life. The girl that came here was so broken, just so broken. So when I say Boys Town saved my life, I mean every word.