The True Meaning of Family

I’ve learned over the years that what defines family is not solely blood relation. Family consists of the people who support and love you, and the people you can confide in and trust. From my blood relatives and friends to my mentors, MHS staff, MHS brothers and sisters, and others I have met along the way, my family is large and continuously growing. 

I have Milton Hershey School to thank for a majority of my family. Classmates, houseparents, staff and alumni make up my MHS family. Not only as a student, but now as a young alumni, my MHS family has been by my side the entire time.

TATIANA_20151126_0126I was extremely lucky to become so close to my houseparents, the Weldons. They have helped me beyond what their roles required. I know when I’m feeling homesick they are only a phone call away, and when breaks come around, I am always welcome to stay at home with them. I was fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving Day with them and their relatives since my mother had to work.Their two children, Addy and Blaine, have become my younger siblings who I get to watch grow up.

Not only can I call my houseparents for any reason, but I still keep in touch with my closest classmates from MHS — I still speak to some of them on a daily basis. Over Christmas break, I saw a few of my best friends from MHS and it was like we had seen each other the day before. From my closest friends in the Scranton area all the way to Florida, I had a chance to reconnect with them.

There’s a certain understanding we all share that gives us a connection you cannot have with someone who didn’t go to MHS. We just get it, whatever it happens to be.

I frequently keep in touch with teachers, administrators, alumni and staff from MHS, whether it’s a phone call or a comment on Facebook. I know they are all there to help me any way they can, and I’ll always find family in them no matter what. 

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