Milton Hershey School Embraces Family Moments at Gertrude Gurt Family Center
By Jay Garvey, MHS Family Relations Manager
In early 2022, the Milton Hershey School Family Relations team opened the Gertrude Gurt Family Center as a landing space on campus to bring students and their families together in meaningful visitation. The center, open on weekdays as well as on select weekends, is equipped with a café, family rooms, a multi-purpose space, and a hair care center—all created with parents/sponsors’ needs in mind.
Before our students left for Christmas Break, one MHS family reunited ahead of the holidays—and what a happy homecoming it was for Masallah Sema. Sema gave her children the ultimate Christmas gift by coming home early to spend the holidays with them. As a space dedicated for reunions, smiles, laughter, and meaningful conversations, the Gertrude Gurt Family Center served as the perfect location for this special family reunion. Moments like this are an ideal use of the center as it gives families space to share meaningful experiences together.
In addition to hosting these organic moments, the MHS Family Relations team hosts Empowerment Events on Friday afternoons that focus on engaging parents/sponsors with staff on campus. Other events hosted at the Gertrude Gurt Family Center equip and empower families with resources and lessons on a variety of topics that will help them support their children while they are at MHS as well as help them grow professionally and personally.
One of the most popular features of the center are the family rooms. These individual, private spaces allow families to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Each family room is equipped with comfortable seating, a smart TV, and an area to play games or do crafts. The resource library includes games, crafts, books, and athletic equipment that can be checked out for use during day-time visitation.
As we continue to expand the programming offered at the Gertrude Gurt Family Center, we are looking at how we can maximize impact on campus for parents/sponsors. We want every parent/sponsor to fully embrace the center as a place to call home and take time to visit when they are on campus. During school business hours (and select weekend hours), our team is available to help, meet with, and support families as needs arrive. Our team looks forward to embracing more family memories and making our parents/sponsors feel at home in Hershey, Pennsylvania.