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A Grandparent’s Wish Comes True at Milton Hershey School

Bruce Pike and his wife, JoAnn, became guardians of their grandchildren three years ago in Jacksonville, Florida. Not long after, both grandparents began searching for an opportunity to help them succeed. Their search led them to Milton Hershey School—a private school where students live on campus and explore their individual interests.

“Our grandkids were deprived of a lot of things in life, including opportunities to discover their passions and just be kids,” Pike said. “We wanted to find a new family that could help us provide for our grandchildren in case anything was to ever happen to us.”

Milton Hershey School students with grandparents on a break from school

The Pikes appreciate that not only are their grandchildren’s essential daily needs met at the school, but MHS has the resources to offer life-changing opportunities and supportive staff to provide a home away from home. Cenya, now a seventh-grader, enrolled last summer and has built a network of trusted adults at MHS to help guide her inside and outside of the classroom. Cyzon, now a sixth-grader, enrolled last winter and has enjoyed setting goals and being challenged.

“Cyzon was so excited to enroll at MHS,” Pike said. “He learned the School Pledge before he got to campus and was able to recite it to his regional admissions recruiter and houseparents before his first day of school.”

Milton Hershey School student with grandfather, Bruce Pike, on Enrollment Day

As grandparents, the Pikes are thankful that MHS employs staff members who are passionate about their jobs and want to make a difference in the lives of students. Living states away, the Pikes trust that their grandkids are being cared for by houseparents, teachers, administration, and every staff member on campus.

“I can tell that my grandkids love it at MHS and truly value the relationships they have made with staff and other students,” Pike said. “Every time we visit or pick them up for a break, they introduce us to new faces that have helped them throughout the school year.”

Milton Hershey School students with grandma on a summer break

In honor of National Grandparents Day, Bruce would like to encourage other grandparents caring for dependents to consider MHS and to research the history of Milton and Catherine Hershey—the school’s founders.

“This opportunity was a blessing for our family and was a wish come true,” Pike said. “It is so much more than just a school, but a home that is teaching our grandkids about life.”

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.