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Hiring Houseparents: A Sweet Career for Married Couples

There are careers, and then there are careers that make a difference. Just ask the Powers, Black, Cain, and Mason families who made Hershey, Pennsylvania, their home—all for different reasons but ended up at Milton Hershey School, where they work as houseparents. MHS hires married couples as houseparents who are caregivers to the elementary, middle, or high school-age students who live and learn on campus.

Meet Valerie and Grant Powers

When Valerie and Grant were newlyweds, they lived in Chicago, working full time and trying to figure out how to balance their life and a future family. Valerie, previously a teacher, stepped back from the classroom after having their first daughter, while Grant was working in service industries with unpredictable hours. It was time to focus on their growing family, and they discovered a job description that included family time. Jump ahead eight and a half years, the Powers are role models for the boys in their student home and their daughters have more than 12 older brothers they look up to.

“Houseparenting with young kids is appealing because you get to be with your kids and be available to them. For them, they get to live and learn from a variety of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths.”

Milton Hershey School houseparents Valerie and Grant Powers outside of student home

Meet Deepa and Brian Black

Retirement was just around the corner for Deepa and Brian when they discovered they weren’t ready to kick up their feet yet! After learning about an opportunity to impact the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, Deepa and Brian moved from Texas, leaving their jobs as an education administrator and corporate executive. MHS was the next chapter of their journey. Today, they use the skills they gained from their previous careers to create a fun, supportive living environment for the girls in their student home. They oversee the logistics of transporting students to and from school and their activities after school while helping them set goals and work to achieve them.

“We use our past experiences to teach students life skills that they can take with them into the future, such as time management, cooperative relationships, and integrity.”

Milton Hershey School houseparents Brian and Deepa Black outside of student home

Meet Ashley and Jonathan Cain

Ashley and Jonathan felt called to grow their family and raise their kids with a sense of purpose. However, they didn’t quite know how this was going to happen. After exploring fostering and adoption, houseparenting at MHS seemed to be the best of both worlds. They could live out their values while investing in the lives of students who need love, care, and support during their time at the school. With young children of their own, the Cains moved from Florida and have been living by example and planting the seeds of what healthy relationships, family dynamics, and a life of service can look like.

“As believers, we try to lead by example. We work with students who have all kinds of different beliefs, and in the end, they know that we are here for them and care for them no matter what.”

Milton Hershey School houseparents Jonathan and Ashley Cain outside of student home

Meet Elise and Roger Mason

Striking the balance between structure and compassion has been vital in Elise and Roger’s houseparent journey. Drawing from their previous work experiences, including Roger in military and police roles, they teach their girls accountability, integrity, and teamwork. Like in most jobs, every day is different and brings unique challenges. However, they have built their family and career in a like-minded community by leaning on each other and reaching out to other houseparent couples for support.

“This job has more support than any other job we have had. We know that if we pick up the phone and press any button, someone will be quick to offer help. It’s really a ‘Hershey family’ of houseparents.”

Milton Hershey School houseparents Elise and Rodger Mason outside of student home

Houseparents live on campus full-time and create a home away from home. Over several years, houseparents provide students a stable and nurturing place to live and grow. Houseparents are role models who teach students skills and values outside of the classroom to help them succeed. Each couple works as part of a schoolwide team with over 200 other houseparent couples. Houseparents lean on, learn from, and spend quality time with each other as a supportive and connected community.

Houseparent couples receive a total compensation package worth approximately $150,000. This includes housing, meals while on duty, utilities, a comprehensive benefits package, and a combined pre-tax salary of $85,806.

Curious about this purpose-driven opportunity for you and your spouse?

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Interested couples can learn more about full- and part-time houseparent roles by attending an Online Information Session, a virtual opportunity to discuss the role in detail and ask questions live with recruiters. It’s the perfect chance to see if this career could be the right fit for your family.

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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.