Everyday Hero: Olivia Weidemann
Everyday Heroes at MHS: A campaign acknowledging employees at MHS who are often found behind the scenes and show up every day to make a difference in the lives of our students.
Olivia Weidemann, MHS Teacher and M.O.L.D. Program Advisor
“As the M.O.L.D. Advisor, Olivia leads and inspires her student committee to persevere and succeed at valuing, fostering, and nurturing student and staff connections in a virtual setting. We are grateful for Olivia’s humble and unending dedication to her career, and most importantly, each student she has impacted while being a teacher and advisor here at MHS,” said Michelle Weber, MHS Student Government Association Coordinator.
1. What brought you to MHS?
I grew up in poverty in New York. From a young age, I saw the importance of school and mentor relationships. There were so many adults who helped me through support and encouragement. They helped me grow into the person I am today. Because of these caring adults in my own life, I was able to graduate high school and become the first in my family to graduate from college.
When I was in college, I met a student who was a graduate of Milton Hershey School. I came to understand and truly love the mission of the school. I knew I wanted to work at MHS because of my own personal story and the opportunity I would have to give back as a teacher and a mentor to high school students.
Applying to MHS was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. MHS gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for teaching and mentoring. I love this community and the opportunities we are able to provide to cultivate growth in our students here at MHS and beyond. I wake up every day remembering that I get to work here and serve students who come from backgrounds similar to my own!
2. How has COVID-19 impacted your role here?
We had to make a move from a face-to-face connection to complete virtual opportunities. Because of the flexibility of our staff and students, we were able to quickly make this transition. Our students are connecting with their mentors through Zoom, FaceTime, phone calls, and emails. We are working to provide virtual connection opportunities and ideas to our mentors and mentees.
In addition to these virtual connection opportunities, our M.O.L.D. committee has worked to create monthly conversation cards for mentors and mentees to discuss this year. We also send out weekly communication every Monday to highlight how mentors and mentees in our program are connecting.
3. What is your favorite aspect of the MHS community?
After two years of teaching at MHS, I was given the opportunity to become the advisor for our school’s M.O.L.D. mentoring program. Advising the mentor program gives me the opportunity to help facilitate mentor relationships for so many students here at MHS. I have personally grown through the many mentor relationships I have had in my own life. I would not be where I am today without supportive caring adults. I am so thankful to help our students connect with the adults here at MHS.
4. What is your favorite memory at MHS thus far?
One of my favorite MHS memories is attending MHS graduation ceremonies. Graduation here is more than just an event, it is a celebration of how much our students have grown both inside and outside of the classroom. The moment I see a student I taught or mentored cross the stage to get their diploma is indescribable. I am filled with joy and pride for all they have accomplished and overcome to get to this point.
5. Is there an interesting statistic about your department that you can share?
This year in the M.O.L.D. mentoring program, we have a record-high number of participants with over 400 mentor-mentee pairings.
Are you an Everyday Hero? Do you know someone who is deserving of this title? Email us their name and title at Milton Hershey School