Milton Hershey School Alumnus, Staff Reciprocates Guidance from Houseparents
By Tylor Teel ’11, MHS Transitional Living Assistant
When I was a student at MHS, I had one set of houseparents while I was in Middle Division and another couple when I was in Senior Division. It was nice to have the continuity of parent figures between my home and at MHS. It also helped my sponsors trust my houseparents because they know these married couples have students’ best interests in mind.
I think the pinnacle of the role is being able to have a connection with their students and to continue that even after graduation. A friend of mine invited her houseparents to her wedding. That’s the type of connection students and alumni have with their housemother and housefather.
I think a lot of my parenting style and how I approach problems with the students I have in Transitional Living (TL) comes from my houseparents’ influence. It’s cool to see that. Their role modeling helped prepare me for this role in TL.
As a staff member at MHS, my relationships with staff are a little different from when I was a student. I have always gone to houseparents for their guidance and leadership. As a student, it was how to prepare for my future. Now I see them as a resource for how to parent, coach, and mentor my students. It’s like that dynamic with staff never leaves.