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​Since 1935, Boys Town has elected a mayor. Father Edward J. Flanagan conceived the self-government system at the Village of Boys Town as a tool for its citizens to build character, citizenship and a sense of community. The student elected, serves as a representative and ambassador of Boys Town. Nolan served as the 117th mayor Boys Town. As a kid from a small town in Tennessee, he was excited to step up and take on this leadership opportunity.

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Nolan: My slogan was, "Nolan Knows," because people say I have a big nose, so I just kind of played off of it.

Nolan: Election day was really nervous. I was really nervous because I thought I was actually going to get vice mayor and when we were up on the stage, my heart started beating really fast and then they called my name out for mayor and I was...I was humble. I just lowered my head and stepped forward. My mom, she cried, she was very excited.

Nolan: Becoming mayor impacted me because it put me in a leadership position. That was something completely foreign to me because I had been a follower my whole life. So, you know, putting on the boots and as a leader and taking on the day, you know, is something completely different. You know, you've got to watch the way you walk down the hall because, you know, people are looking at you. "What is the mayor doing? If the mayor is doing this then I can do that." So, I've got to make sure that I'm a good role model for everybody.

Nolan: All the people that ever doubted me, you know, "Oh, this kid's not going to make it. This kid's not going to make it."

Well, here I am.