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Lifer Shares His Appreciation for the Milton Hershey School Community

Milton Hershey School has had more than 600 alumni enroll in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade—or sometimes even earlier. At MHS, these students earn the distinction of being a “lifer” once they complete their 12 years of schooling and graduate. As we prepare to celebrate them at the school’s 89th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 11, we asked several of this year’s 18 lifers what their time at MHS has meant to them.

Milton Hershey School lifer Layne Cooper.

What does it mean to you to be an MHS lifer?

Being a lifer is so much more than just being an MHS student my whole life. As a lifer who enrolled in 2009, being part of this community means everything to me. The school has been my home for most of my life, and the relationships I have formed with my classmates and staff members are more like family than anything else. To me, being an MHS lifer means having a strong sense of pride and loyalty in belonging to this community and the values it stands for.

How has your time at MHS helped prepare you for life after graduation?

MHS has prepared me for life after graduation by ensuring I am a well-rounded individual with a strong sense of responsibility, as well as teaching me real-life skills in classes like senior seminar. This class helped me learn about buying a car, paying bills and rent, finding a job, budgeting, investing, and much more.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am excited to step into the real world and build new relationships, as well as pursue something I am deeply passionate about in college. Whether it’s attending college, starting a career, or pursuing my interests, I feel confident that I am prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead because of the resources and skills MHS has provided me.

When you think about life after graduation from MHS, as a lifer, what comes to mind?

When I think about life after graduation from MHS, as a lifer, I feel a sense of gratitude for the experiences and connections I have gained over the years. While leaving this community will be bittersweet, I know that the lessons and values I have learned at MHS will stay with me for a lifetime. I am excited to take on new challenges and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead, while always carrying with me the spirit of this incredible community.

Learn about the Significance of Lifers at MHSRead about the Class of 2023

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.