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How I’m Breaking Gender Stereotypes

By Joy, a junior at MHS

As a child, I didn’t have very many strong female role models. I felt trapped in a world where men and women had their stereotypical gender roles, and I didn’t have much hope that I would ever be much of a success story.

I knew I was capable of following my dreams of becoming a police officer, but how could I get there?

My family was not supportive of my career plans and certainly did not have the financial means to send me to college. I spent a year worried and frustrated about my future until I was accepted into Milton Hershey School. The assurance that I could accrue a sizable scholarship when I graduated with ample experience to face whatever was ahead of me was almost unbelievable.

When I came to the school, I refused to take my eyes off my dreams. One of my biggest achievements has been completing a summer internship at the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division where I learned valuable information that will benefit my future career.

I met and worked with some of the most wonderful people working to protect our streets. I learned that being a woman in the world of law enforcement is not a setback, but instead, a position of strength and empowerment.

Joy reflects on how she's breaking gender stereotypes.

I am set to complete an internship once again this summer, and I’m very excited to continue with my learning experiences and building my self-confidence. One day, I could be in the same position as some of the detectives if I just keep working hard and never let my goals out of my sight.

If you’re a female, my advice would be to never let people dictate what you should be just because of your gender. You are a strong, gifted, and unstoppable young woman, and you can live out your dreams no matter what they might be.

Joy enrolled at MHS in tenth grade from Mifflin, PA.

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.