Envisioning Great Things for Our Grandchildren
By Michael and Roberta, grandparents and sponsors for Dominic, Gregory, and Shania
We enrolled three of our grandchildren, Shania, Gregory, and Dominic at Milton Hershey School for several reasons. After Roberta and I received court-ordered custody of the children, we needed to find an emotional, educational, physical, and psychologically supporting environment for them. The children were living with us in our home—Shania, since she was a 1 year old, Greg since he was a newborn and Dominic, was born while his parents were living at our home. We also knew that we would not be able to afford and provide the children the support they needed to develop as adults. Lastly, we knew about MHS, and the vision of the founders, since our son played youth hockey for the Hershey Junior Bears. We knew that MHS would be the best education for the children.
We live in the Linglestown area and have been here since 1984. While we miss the children, we can see them whenever they attend St. Joan of Arc’s on Sundays after the MHS Chapel service. This helps my wife, myself and the children stay connected. We also send them postcards and letters. We have become very close with their houseparents, which enables excellent communication about how the children are doing. We see them every break they have and we use our vacation and personal time from work to be with the children. We also try to attend every family and sporting event possible to keep in touch. This year we even delivered giant bags of candy to each of their student homes for both Halloween and Christmas.
Since enrolling, we have seen growth in all three children. Shania is very helpful when she is at home with us. She helps her mother care for her other children who do not attend MHS. Greg and Dominic have excelled in leadership at MHS and they have both participated in the youth baseball and soccer programs. Coach “Spin” (Christopher Spinagotti) is their favorite teacher and coach. He has developed a great relationship with both boys and they both respond to his teaching and coaching.
We monitor the grades and comments listed on the MHS Infinite Campus portal. This is a great tool to keep in touch with the children’s’ daily progress. We are then able to speak with the children about their grades.
Any parent, grandparent, or person responsible for the primary support of children must first ask themselves if they’re going to be able to give this child an environment that is safe, emotionally supporting, educationally challenging, and caring, every single day. We knew that we were limited in giving this to the children, particularly at our ages. This is not an easy decision. It is one that should be considered and researched carefully. After reviewing and being honest with oneself about what the child’s caregiver can do; sending the child to MHS is the best choice.
We envision great things for all three of our grandchildren. They all know that they are now required to complete their education through senior year of high school at MHS. They are already talking to us about college choices and programs they want to try. They are going to be better prepared for life’s challenges through the education and experience MHS is giving them.