Not many high school kids have earned the title Mayor, but it’s a long-standing tradition at Boys Town for students to elect their own mayor each year. Last May, the Boys Town students elected Hazakiah Williams to a position he wanted to hold since the day he set foot on the Boys Town campus.
Edge: When did you first decide you wanted to run for Mayor?
Williams: The first time I toured Boys Town, a kid was jogging, and they told me he was the Mayor. When they explained what he did, I knew right then I wanted to be Mayor too.
Edge: What was the campaign process?
Williams: We had to come up with a campaign slogan and then record a video. My slogan was “Real Relationships. Real Solutions.” Students cast their votes, and the person with the most votes won.
Edge: How did you find out you had been elected?
Williams: They announced it during a ceremony last May. I was so surprised when they called my name. My hands were shaking as the previous Mayor swore me in. It was funny.
Edge: What are your responsibilities as Mayor?
Williams: I have to be a leader on campus and act as a voice for my peers so there is communication and common ground between my peers and staff. When my peers have ideas, I need to bring them to the right people. I’m helping students now and even future students.
Edge: What do you enjoy about serving as Mayor?
Williams: I really enjoy seeing things behind the scenes. I get to communicate with people who develop the programs and am able to thank them for everything they do on campus.
Edge: What have you learned as a result of being Mayor?
Williams: I’ve learned that a lot of people have good ideas and want to make Boys Town the best place it can be. I’ve also learned that you need to display effort, whether it’s in school, in sports, or in the home. Both the little and big things go a long way. Boys Town has given me a second life as well as my family. My twin sister is here and my older sister is a Family-Teacher at Boys Town in Washington, D.C.
Edge: What is a challenge you’ve faced as Mayor?
Williams: One challenge was the riots following the death of George Floyd. I gave a speech letting students know that they could talk about it in a way that was appropriate so their voice was heard.
Edge: What activities are you involved in?
Williams: I am the captain of the football team, I wrestle, and am on the track team. I’m also on National Honor Society and serve as a peer minister. As a peer minister, I help answer any questions so they can grow in their faith. I didn’t know much when I came to Boys Town, but I know a lot more now, so I want to help others.
Edge: What do you like to do with your friends?
Williams: We all play sports, so that’s what we like to do. My favorite football teams are the Giants since they’re from my hometown, Kansas City Chiefs, LA Rams, and Baltimore Ravens. I’d like to see the Rams win the Super Bowl since the Lakers won the NBA and the Dodgers won the World Series.
Edge: What wisdom do you hope to pass on to the next Mayor?
Williams: Helping make sure everyone is putting effort into being here. Making sure that everyone is using the opportunities because Boys Town is here to help you and provide resources. They will see you to the end of your success.