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MHS Houseparent with Military Background Provides Valuable Structure for Students

As past camp counselors, Corey and Jennifer Caugherty found themselves ready for a new youth-focused role when responding to a local classified advertisement for Milton Hershey School’s houseparent opportunity.

“Being houseparents has been a wonderful and fulfilling career,” Corey said. “We have treasured every minute of helping students and making their time at MHS one of learning, growth, and acceptance.”

Houseparents with MHS students

The Caughertys have been houseparents at MHS for 20 years. During their time, they have assisted students in navigating through MHS and beyond—well into adulthood.

“We try our best to remain in our kids’ lives for as long as they will have us,” Corey said. “Some of our boys are now (unbelievably) in their 30s and we still keep in contact.”

Corey served for five years in both the United States Army Reserve and the Pennsylvania National Guard. He found his time in the service to be “rewarding and valuable” for his current role.

“My military background has been influential in helping to structure our student home,” Corey said. “I employ many of the skills I learned and used in the service to help our boys succeed.”

Corey is a huge advocate for maintaining physical health. He and Jennifer try to be creative and provide daily recreational time for their students to work out outside and stay active.

Corey Caugherty and students

“Our kids know fitness is a foundational component of military service and who I am,” Corey said. “We carve out time daily for outside play, and on bad weather days, we exercise inside with either a strength routine or with fitness DVDs.”

When asked, “What advice do you have for new houseparents?” Corey responded, “Due to the nature of the position, the trials will be ever-present; but the rewards of being a loving, steady presence in the lives of MHS students will always outnumber the challenges.”

Learn more about the houseparent role and hear from other houseparents by visiting mhskids.org/blog.

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. View full Equal Opportunity Policy.