When Fonati Ward ’01 describes her life, she sums it up in one word: ‘blessed.’ Fonati enrolled at Milton Hershey School as a third-grader and said it was divine intervention and a push from a mentor that led her to her current role as a Home Life Administrator at MHS.
“[MHS] is home, and now I get to work here,” she said. “I get to impact the lives of young people and influence houseparents which I feel is one of the greatest and most impactful positions at the school.”
Fonati uses her experiences as a former student and graduate to make life at MHS run smoothly for current students, their parents/sponsors, and their houseparents.
“I wouldn’t say my job is a calling, I feel like it’s my duty,” Fonati said. “I have an enriched position.”
Thanks to the advice and support of an MHS teacher turned mentor, Fonati was encouraged to learn about the Transitional Living program while interning at MHS after college. That’s where her professional path began.
“I am blessed to work at MHS and words just can’t describe it,” Fonati said. “I was not only blessed to enroll there as a third-grader, I was blessed to complete my internship [at the school] after college. Now I’m blessed to be a staff member and work with amazing students who help me stay connected and grounded.”
As for anyone considering enrolling his or her child at MHS, Fonati offers this advice: “Milton Hershey School is the greatest school in the world. It exposes students to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise experience. We have a staff that believes this is more than a job – it’s a home –and we have a wraparound community that will never give up on [its] students.”