Student News of Skutt Catholic High School

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Omaha’s Boys Town Celebrates 100 Years

Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home looks back on a century of serving adolescents

Vintage+image+of+the+Boys+Town+marching+band
Vintage image of the Boys Town marching band

Vintage image of the Boys Town marching band

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Vintage image of the Boys Town marching band

Zoe Clark, Copy Editor

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“There are no bad boys,” said founder of Boys Town, Father Edward Flanagan. “There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”

In Dec. 1917, that young Irish priest set out with a mission to create a home for troubled and neglected boys. In the course of a century, this mission has grown from helping eight boys to helping several thousands.

Changing the way America cares for children, ​​​families, and ​communities by providing and promoting an ​Integrated Continuum of Care that instills Boys Town values to strengthen body, ​mind, and spirit.”

— Boys Town Mission Statement

Boys Town began in a house and expanded into the German-American home, priorly abandoned due to America’s war with Germany. Eventually, in 1921, they obtained the funds to purchase Overlook Farm, a plot of land lining the southern side of West Dodge Road in Omaha.

That same location is where, 100 years later, a thriving community now exists. Despite Boys Town’s now-prime location, the organization was once located 10 miles outside of Omaha.

From there, Boys Town rapidly expanded, helping more boys every year. In 1979, Boys Town expanded to admit not only boys, but also girls, thus becoming Girls and Boys Town to reflect its co-ed enrollment.

Boys Town’s website shares some of their many success stories, from a girl jailed at age 15 that now owns her own company to a troublemaker failing his classes turned football star.

Skutt Catholic Theology teacher, Mrs. Kathie McGee, worked at Boys Town for 22 years, performing a variety of roles. When McGee started in the summer of 1987, she made history by teaching the first all girls class there ever. She spent 10 years as a Catholic religion teacher at Boys Town High school and 12 years as the Director of Program Services at the Boys Town Center for Adolescent and Family Spirituality.

“Any child that had been abused, be it physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, that at their core, they had been spiritually abused,” said Mrs. Kathie McGee. “It was our goal to help them heal on all of those levels,” McGee said, recalling words of Father Val Peter, fourth executive director of Boys Town.

Boys Town has information on their website about celebrating 100 years and are sending out supplies and information to help others celebrate with them. There is also a documentary about the road thus far for Boys Town.

 

Clark - Copy Editor

Zoe became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a junior this year involved in robotics, academic decathlon, and many other electives, and spends what little free time she has reading. You can email her at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “Omaha’s Boys Town Celebrates 100 Years”

  1. M❄️ on December 7th, 2017 1:04 pm

    I love this article! I wrote a five page essay all about Father Flanagan last school year!! ♥️

    [Reply]

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Student News of Skutt Catholic High School
Omaha’s Boys Town Celebrates 100 Years