My Journey Toward Trust, Mutual Respect and Kindheartedness
By Ashley, a junior at MHS
When I first walked into the open arms of Milton Hershey School, I thought I would never find an adult to connect with because I never had before. As I continued to grow throughout middle school, I still didn’t know if I would have a strong connection with an adult like I had seen with other students. Even when I first entered high school and met so many influential teachers, I was hesitant about whether or not I would really connect with adults.
Many members of our Student Government Association talked about having mentors through the M.O.L.D program and encouraged me to sign up. In all honesty, I didn’t really want to get involved. There was still a part of me that was skeptical of adults. I thought I would be too awkward and a relationship wouldn’t form.
I joined the program anyway. On the first day, we had a mentor and mentee get-together. It was overwhelming and made me anxious, but I continued through the sea of smiling adults. There she was, my mentor. “I’m Ashley,” I told her in a trembling voice that I hoped wouldn’t show my uncertainty. Our faces were the same: plastered-on grins and hopeful eyes. She reached out to shake my hand. This was the beginning of an adult connection I never thought I would make.
My mentor and I email each other about our days and talk about what we plan to do next together. She has taught me valuable lessons such as believing in myself and working hard to succeed. Before, when an adult I didn’t know talked to me, I would either have an attitude or shy away from them.
Because of my mentor just talking with me and listening to my frustrations and problems, I am now able to approach adults in a calm, respectful manner.
Through the mentoring program at MHS, I was able to meet an adult who I wouldn’t normally encounter because she works in Admissions. I joined the program thinking I would talk to an adult, not connect with one. I was proven wrong. Our mentoring program is a way for me to really put myself out there. It helps me grow and follow a positive role model.
I can say with confidence that I trust my mentor. She always encourages me during my worst times and celebrates with me during my best. For me, that’s the definition of a kind-hearted person and an amazing mentor. She is exactly what I needed.
As a junior in high school, I have finally found adults with whom I can connect. Milton Hershey School has become my family and a place I call home.
Ashley enrolled at MHS in fourth grade from Hershey, Pennsylvania.