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Finding Family at Home and On Campus

Going home can be a different experience for every Milton Hershey School student. Home isn’t always a sanctuary like it’s supposed to be, so some students spend their breaks on campus.

Spending our summers on campus can be really busy because we can choose between various opportunities such as working on- or off-campus, joining the Year-Round Experience (YRE) program, completing an internship, or enrolling in summer enrichment classes. For me, each year has been different and I’ve been able to experience it all.

During my first summer, I participated in the YRE program. By my second summer, I was able to work as a YRE camp counselor and work at the Spartan Ice Cream Center. This summer, the summer going into my senior year, I completed an internship with the Harrisburg World Affairs Council for four weeks and then spent time working as a camp counselor.

YRE is the most important thing I miss when I leave campus. I love working as a camp counselor, and I do it for the kids. They remind me of my own siblings, so I would never pass up the opportunity to work there.

Elementary students on campus

When I do leave campus, I’m most excited to be with my family and stay with them as much as I can. I care for my family so much, and seeing them reassures me that they always have my back no matter what. My neighborhood now is very peaceful. I still hear the occasional loud and obnoxious cars, but other than that, it’s fairly safe for me now.

I’ve been to 14 other schools throughout my life, but being at Milton Hershey School is a very unique experience each summer. Our summers are small compared to an average high school. We have a total of eight weeks off, but we can go home for six. The last two weeks are for students to come back to campus and get adjusted to all the new routines coming their way before school arrives.

As the summer concludes, I’m sad knowing it’s my last summer as an MHS student but I’m going to begin my senior year with my head up high. I’m ready to get the year started and pursue my dream colleges after high school. I’ll be focusing on my goals and not allowing myself to drift away from them. Senior year is my time to find myself before entering the real world.


Thalia enrolled at MHS in tenth grade from Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. 

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