Opelika welcomes home Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013

Opelika welcomes home Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Miss America 2013 and Opelika native Mallory Hagan made her way back home to celebrate her new title.

Wednesday, Hagan took a tour of her alma mater Opelika High School to see what changes are taking place.

"It's really great to be back in Opelika," says Hagan. "I mean, so many things have changed in so many different ways, but it's just really amazing being around the people who helped support you and have helped you on your journey wherever it is that you are going, more specifically, Miss America."

In April, the Opelika City Council passed a resolution to bring Hagan to town.

Several events have been planned in her honor Thursday, including a meet and greet at the Opelika Sportsplex and a Reception Celebration at the Marriott at Grand National.

"It's going to be outstanding and folks are so glad to see her and we'll welcome her home with open arms," explains Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.

Soon after graduation in 2007, Hagan decided to move to New York with just $1,000 in her pocket to pursue her dreams, never thinking that six short years later she would be crowned Miss America 2013.

Hagan says her roots are here in Opelika and couldn't wait to get back.

"Honestly I crave being back here," said Hagan. "I couldn't get away fast enough when I was 19 and I think that it takes you getting away in order for you to realize exactly what you did have. It's so wonderful to be a part of a community that's so supportive and everyone knows everyone and everyone is on your side."

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.