Elizabeth Eagleson – Clarion University
As a young child growing up in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Eagleson was surrounded by violence, drugs, and alcohol – an environment that negatively influenced her academically.
“Growing up, I didn’t have it easy,” said Elizabeth. “As a 10-year-old girl, I couldn’t read and I had the math level of a first-grader.”
When a letter from Milton Hershey School arrived at Elizabeth’s home addressed to her brother, it was Elizabeth who initially wanted to go.
“My brother and I would argue over who was going [to MHS],” she said. “My mom looked into the school and said ‘you’re both going.’”
Elizabeth arrived as an excited fifth-grader with an academic uphill battle.
“I struggled with school initially,” said Elizabeth. “When I took my first online math test, I got a zero. I was the lowest scoring kid. After that, my math teacher, Mr. Campbell, helped me with my studies. A few months later, I got one of the highest scores in the class.”
Elizabeth continued to thrive at MHS. While in middle school, she got involved in Student Government Association, soccer, choir, and band. During high school, she joined marching band, choir, horticulture, and the Viva Diversity club. She also completed the Construction and Carpentry pathway as part of Milton Hershey School’s Career and Technical Education program.
“I love working with my hands,” she said. “I love building and constructing, and now I have the ‘tools’ to build a house.”
In addition to the skills she gained in the Construction and Carpentry pathway, Elizabeth also will graduate from MHS with 17 college credits earned through the school’s partnership with Temple University. Through this partnership, MHS seniors graduate from high school early and earn college credits while on the MHS campus.
Elizabeth will use those credits to get a head start at Clarion University this fall to study nursing. Her brother graduated from MHS in 2015 and is currently studying music at Lebanon Valley College.
“MHS is a really good place,” said Elizabeth. “When I arrived, I couldn’t read, I struggled with math, and now I’m graduating and taking college classes. MHS gave me a second chance at life.”