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Milton Hershey School Houseparents are Professional Difference Makers

By Julie M. Reese, MHS Houseparent

My husband, Gregory, and I believe wholeheartedly that we are difference-makers. Through our careers, we impact the lives of children at Milton Hershey School as houseparents.

For the first 30 years of our marriage, my husband and I both worked in various, fulfilling careers in retail, hospitality, education, and social work. Our professional journeys opened our eyes to poverty and diversity, but also to the value of caring adults in the lives of youth. We served in our local church, we raised our family of four, and we lived every day to be “champions for Christ” just as we had been charged after graduating from Liberty University.

Gregory and Julie Reese

We worked hard and enjoyed our work, but one day I read words penned by Mark Twain. He said, “Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I tucked those words in the back of my mind and wondered: Does anyone really love their job that much?

Turns out you can, and we do!

Our journey

My husband and I learned we could be professional difference-makers and accepted positions as full-time houseparents in July 2020. We are caregivers, cheerleaders, mentors, and teachers, but not in a traditional classroom or school setting. We teach the elementary-aged girls in our student home life and social skills. All houseparents live in a beautifully furnished, spacious home that gives the girls space to play, learn, and thrive with all costs covered—so they can be kids!

In our student home, we are a family. While the children in our home are not our own biological children, we love them, and we love doing this important work.

We model positive relationships, establish routines, and support students while they are on the MHS campus. Houseparents also build relationships and work with the students’ parents/sponsors to ensure they are involved in their child’s success. We introduce the children to all sorts of fun family things such as playing board games, fishing, and cooking. Our girls strive to be responsible, doing chores to keep our home clean, and learning the impact of serving school, country, and God. We also lead our home in daily devotions to help them center their day and encourage the students to develop in leadership and character. Additionally, at the end of each school year, we go on a family vacation with our student home to celebrate the success of the year!

Milton Hershey School students appreciate their difference makers.

Meaningful Work

In our marriage and family, this career is a lifestyle. We work together as husband and wife and are provided with a home that is rent-free. We are compensated with benefits and receive paid time off. Most importantly, we are fulfilling our personal mission to intentionally invest in the next generation.

C.S. Lewis is credited with saying, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. Children are the most important work.”

If you enjoy working with children, you may love working here as much as we do!  You too can be a difference maker and we’d love to work with you as houseparents!

Learn More about Houseparenting 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.