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Milton Hershey School Class Ring Represents a Journey

By Karleigh Hunter, MHS Senior

After arriving back from Thanksgiving break, there was a larger-than-life replica of the Milton Hershey School senior class ring in Founders Hall. Every day since, I have walked by it with a sense of excitement and determination about receiving my own class ring in just a few months.

Milton Hershey School senior draws during art class.

As an art student and soon-to-be MHS graduate, the class ring display brings me many emotions—the most important being gratitude. This special ring represents not only the end of our journey through MHS, but also the beginning of a new one. Personally, my MHS journey began in 2020 as a sophomore in high school. Looking back on these past few years, it certainly hasn’t been an easy road, but everything I went through shaped me into the person I am today. When I see the class ring, it reminds me that looking back can be just as important as looking forward.

Art has been my passion since I was young, using it as a tool to distract myself from the sometimes-chaotic circumstances that surrounded me. I grew up more than 1,200 miles away from Hershey, Pennsylvania, in Newalla, Oklahoma. I found outlets at school, specifically art and cross country, often finding it hard to feel at peace at home. I loved these activities because I could get lost in them and was able to express myself.

When I was in middle school, my circumstances improved, but I had to adjust to a new living situation and learn how to heal from the past. Little did I know then that there would be an even bigger change coming.

A few years later, a relative who was familiar with MHS shared the greatness of a school with tremendous opportunity in Central Pennsylvania. I didn’t understand why I would pack up my life again and move across the country to go to school. I had a school right where I was.

Nonetheless, on Oct. 26, 2022, I was enrolled at MHS, where I started a journey, that two years later, I say with certainty has changed my life forever. Yes, I had to adjust yet again to a new life, but I knew this is where I needed to be.

Milton Hershey School senior paints during art class.

During my time at MHS, I’ve learned so many life skills and have had so many amazing opportunities that I never would have gotten otherwise. One thing in particular that helped ground me was art. I decided that I would immerse myself in every opportunity that was presented to me and became involved in the MHS community by doing things I enjoy.

I’ve attended games to take pictures for the yearbook, ran cross country, managed the wrestling team, joined the National Art Honor Society, designed t-shirts for events, taken part in Hershey Community Youth Alliance activities, and much more.

MHS has been a home away from home and has been a huge stepping stone that has help to prepare me for my future. What I have come to find is that it’s important to take things one step at a time and enjoy the little moments and milestones. Our journey as MHS students—represented in our class ring—is like no other, but it has and is helping us become the people we are meant to be.

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.