Student Character and Leadership

Building character and global understanding

The Character and Leadership Development program, otherwise known as The Compass Project, is based on social and emotional learning in and out of the classroom.  The Compass Project is designed to help students of all grade levels discover their values and learn the skills they need to become successful leaders and global citizens.

The transformative character and leadership program builds on Milton Hershey School’s sacred values, which include commitment to mission, integrity, positive spirit and mutual respect. Students develop their skills through in-classroom lessons and monthly lessons in the student home with their houseparents.

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Learning outside the classroom

The Compass Project’s curriculum and monthly lessons are based on the following four themes that promote self-discovery, personal responsibility and learning outside the classroom:

  • Well-being  lessons teach  students to be self-reflective and practice mindfulness. These skills expand on the sacred value of commitment to help students develop self-esteem and overcome challenges.
  • Social intelligence lessons discuss social norms and values, diversity and respect, and the importance of compromising and finding common ground. Students learn how to navigate diverse environments and relationships while maintaining an empathetic attitude and mutual respect for others.
  • Self-sufficiency lessons encourage students to exercise grit, perseverance and resilience. By improving their ability to prioritize, confront failure and make responsible decisions, students understand what it means to act with integrity.
  • Growth mindset lessons teach students to be curious and eager to learn through reasoning, problem-solving and free play activities. The goal is to foster positive spirit among young people.

 By implementing The Compass Project school-wide, Milton Hershey School is working to enhance students’ understanding of core social and emotional learning skills.

See how students are living out these values:

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