Skip to content

Student Character and Leadership

Building Character

Our Student Character and Leadership Development program is known as The Compass Project. It is designed to help students of all ages discover their values. We teach the necessary skills for children to become successful leaders and kind global citizens. We help them to be effective collaborators.

Read Student StoriesWatch Student Videos


Milton Hershey School students learn soft skills both in the classroom and in their student home.

Social and Emotional Foundation

In a 2014 CareerBuilder study, 77 percent of employers surveyed said “soft skills” were as important as job-related skills. Employers are looking for people who have a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and the ability to collaborate. MHS teaches basic social and emotional skills to nurture these qualities.

Check out the Study
Portrait of MHS Students Elementary

Character Education

The Compass Project reinforces our commitment to developing the whole child. This character and leadership program is life-changing. It builds on Milton Hershey School’s four Sacred Values, the backbone of our Social and Emotional Learning program.

  • Commitment to Mission
  • Integrity
  • Positive spirit
  • Mutual respect

Read about the Sacred ValuesExplore Religious Programs

Experience The Compass Project

The Compass Project is school-wide initiative. Students develop their skills through both classroom and student home lessons. The curriculum challenges them to reach their greatest leadership potential. We strive to develop student skills in four distinct areas. Learn more about each focus area.

Social and Emotional Learning

This skill teaches students to manage emotions, show empathy, and create long-term goals that allow them to dream.

Video Poster

Spiritual Development

This skill helps students develop personal connections beyond themselves. We seek to build connections at a spiritual level.

Video Poster

Character and Leadership Development

This skill helps students build strong mental and ethical traits. It grows leadership qualities that will serve them throughout their lives.

Video Poster

Health and Wellness Activities

This skill shows students how to maintain personal health and physical well-being. Achieving this helps them live long, happy, and healthy lives.

Video Poster

MHS Student Voice Platform Brings Community Together

MHS created a student voice platform within The Compass Project called The Compass Project Grow. Expanding on the goals of The Compass Project, The Compass Project Grow provides students an opportunity for self-expression and collaboration with MHS staff while focusing on the school’s Sacred Values.

Video Poster

The Curriculum

The Compass Project lessons promote self-discovery, responsibility, and learning inside and outside of the classroom. We focus on four areas of personal development.

Self-Awareness and Self-Management

These lessons teach students to be self-reflective and practice mindfulness. Students reflect on the Sacred Value of commitment and develop self-esteem to overcome challenges.

Social Awareness and Relationship Skills

These lessons discuss several areas, including:

  • Social norms and values
  • Diversity and respect
  • The importance of compromising and finding common ground

Students learn how to navigate diverse environments and relationships. They learn how to maintain an empathetic attitude and mutual respect for others.

Responsible Decision-Making

These lessons encourage students to exercise grit, perseverance, and resilience. They learn how to act with integrity, improving their ability to:

  • Prioritize
  • Confront failure
  • Make responsible decisions

Growth Mindset

These lessons teach students to be curious and eager to learn. We encourage reasoning, problem-solving, and free play activities. The goal is to foster positive spirit among young people.

A Milton Hershey School Middle Division teacher works with students in her classroom.

Living Character in the Classroom

From foundational moments elementary school to rigorous challenge in high school, our students receive the tools to grow in all areas. Character education is enhanced through teachable moments at school. See what school is like at MHS.

Explore Elementary Division
Explore Middle Division
Experience Senior Division

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.