Mentorship: Empowering the Next Generation to Be Their Greatest Selves
By Lisa Scullin, MHS Vice President of Communications
Did you know that young adults with strong mentorship are 130 percent more likely to find themselves in leadership positions later in life, according to MENTOR, a nationally recognized nonprofit?
Every time I see this statistic, I am immediately reminded of the people along my journey that lifted me up, empowered me, and helped me to get where I am today. I still remember how nervous I was when I graduated from college and was looking to start my career in the news industry—but as I started to meet role models and mentors, I was less scared and much more excited for what lay ahead. From then on, I knew I wanted to be intentional about lifting the next generation of leaders to be their greatest selves.
Years later I accepted a position at Milton Hershey School where I was struck by the mission of educating children in financial need to live fulfilling and productive lives. Over the past 10 years, I have found it so rewarding to mentor students along their MHS journey and beyond.
Recently I had the opportunity to take part in PA Media Group’s Mentoring Monday—a women’s initiative that brings together people from all walks of life to network and learn from one another. This year, I was joined by my colleague, Tanya Baynham, MHS Vice President of Graduate Programs for Success.
We were given the ability to connect in small groups. In one session the mentors connected with mentees to explore different topics including finding a first job, work-life balance, and career advancement. Every time I’m welcomed into a mentoring role like this, I am reminded that mentoring goes both ways. I am constantly in awe of how much I learn from the people I mentor. From talking with attendees about resiliency, supporting colleagues, and more, I’m sure I learned just as much as anyone else at the event.
MHS has sponsored Mentoring Monday since its inaugural year in 2020 and I have had the pleasure of serving as a mentor each year. Not only is the event a great way to share the mission of the school, but a way we can integrate ourselves into the community and support mentorship outside of MHS. Our founders, Milton and Catherine Hershey, were incredibly involved in the local community and wanted MHS employees and students to carry on that legacy.
Taking part in Mentoring Monday is another way that we can show our students the importance of mentorship. You see, mentorship at MHS is essential to the success of the students we serve. Mentoring is not an option at MHS, it’s expected that every employee invests in the well-being and growth of our students. Through the MHS Mentoring Our Leaders’ Development (M.O.L.D.) program , Senior Division students and staff are given a formal opportunity to build a relationship and bond around shared experiences and a mutual yearning to grow. I’ve been a M.O.L.D. mentor for several years now and it’s one of the best parts of my job.
At MHS, we are constantly reminded of the importance of mentorship. In 2014, MENTOR published a report, sharing that young adults who have less access to opportunities, but have a mentor, are 55 percent more likely to attend college than their peers who never made that connection.
Being able to sponsor and take part in events like Mentoring Monday, is just another way that MHS can help everyone to become their greatest selves.