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Milton Hershey School Celebrates Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. During Black History Month

By A.J. Rinaldi, MHS Home Life Administrator

As we reflect during Black History Month, we turn to Dr. Matin Luther King Jr. as an example of leadership, love, peace, humility, and humanity. And we try to do as he encouraged, which was to rise to a higher standard of character and values. Of the many values that King embodied, three stand out: service, standards, and sacrifice. These are things also modeled at Milton Hershey School.

As King famously said: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk. Then crawl, but by all means keep moving forward.”

These words are as inspiring today as they were when Dr. King first shared them more than 60 years ago. His message has never been more important. Notice, King didn’t say if you can’t run call an Uber. He didn’t say if you can’t crawl, hit the snooze button. King invited us to do all we can—not what we feel like doing and want to do. We should do all we’re capable of—which is often more than we realize.

A.J. Rinaldi, Milton Hershey School Home Life Administrator, speaks to MHS students and staff about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Beyond Black History Month, this school year, our community has committed to the service of others and higher standards of character and values. King once stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Through our School Pledge, we promise to “do all we can for the good of our School, our Country, and our God.” This is a call for service.

The beautiful thing about life is, even when you can’t help yourself, you can help someone else. That’s service in its highest form. King understood this simple rule—existing for others makes the world better.


Our values are the most valuable thing we have. When we uphold a high standard of values, they call it character. When those who care challenge us to raise our standards what they’re really saying is: Why would you crawl when you were born to fly?

One of our MHS Sacred Values is integrity—doing the right thing when no one is watching. I believe, and Dr. King’s actions backed it up, that integrity is also doing the hard things when everyone is watching. Despite unpopular opinions, we all should develop unwavering values that we can stand on, which leads to unshakable character.


Dr. King also said, “A man that hasn’t discovered what he’s willing to die for, isn’t fit to live.” I interpret that to mean, find a cause worth dying for and dedicate your life to it. For Dr. King, it was his dream that “one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Do you have a dream? A vision? Does it benefits others?

Dr. King gave it all—he paid the ultimate price. The world thought they were getting a martyr, but what they got was hope. They got transformation of a nation, through sacrifice.

A.J. Rinaldi, Milton Hershey School Home Life Administrator, speaks to MHS students and staff about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Service, standards, and sacrifice breed significance!

While Dr. King and other civil rights leaders may not be with us anymore, their example, leadership, and legacy lives out in us today when we move their vision and dreams forward.

Use Black History Month to chase significance. Live for others like Dr. King did. No matter your age, income, skin color, or where you live, the time to love thy neighbor is always right now. If you haven’t lived that way, make today Day 1.

Read More about Diversity and Inclusion at MHS

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.