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Family Weekends Provide Opportunities for Connection

By Family Relations Department

Milton Hershey School Family Weekends allow families to connect with resources to best support their children and develop relationships within the MHS community. These weekends also give parents and sponsors the opportunity to spend quality time with their children on campus through fun and educational opportunities.

In the last two months, more than 150 new students have enrolled at MHS. Those students represent families from Kentucky to New Hampshire and Maryland to Indiana. The experience of living away from home can be challenging for our newly enrolled students as well as our students who have been at MHS for years.

Homesickness can come in waves. As much as our students may miss home, our parents are also missing their kids. Missing a child comes in similar waves for parents, sponsors, and families. Throughout the school year, breaks provide a chance for students to travel home to visit their families.

Family Weekends provide a unique opportunity for our parents, sponsors, and families to join their students on campus. They get to experience firsthand their day-in and day-out life here at MHS – some of them for the very first time.

Aaliyah Cuttino just enrolled in January. She got to spend Winter Family Weekend with her grandmother.

“I love being in my granddaughter’s world – it helps me relate to her and the things she talks about,” said Aaliyah’s grandmother.

Aaliyah Cuttino and her grandmother enjoy family weekend at Milton Hershey School.

During Family Weekends, parents and families can shadow their student during a school day – meeting their teachers and administrators, walking the halls with them, and participating in classes.

Families have the opportunity to meet with College and Career Counselors and interact with support staff from all areas of the school including Social Work, Medical, Psychological Services, Graduate Programs for Success, and Home Life.

“It’s so good to meet all the staff on campus, get to know other sponsors and other kids,” said Amy Tran, who spent the weekend with her sons, Andy and Justin. “It makes me feel like we’re one big family.”

Amy Tran visits her sons, Andy and Justin, during Milton Hershey School's Winter Family Weekend.

Family Weekends give the Milton Hershey School family – staff, students, and parent/sponsors – the chance to gather together in meaningful and memorable ways. Throughout the weekend, families and staff gather over meals, games, and crafts. They come together to celebrate and enjoy the accomplishments of our students’ hard work in the Visual and Performing Arts through performances, as well as the ingenuity of the students in the Agricultural and Environmental Education program through Project Market.

The waves of homesickness and missing your child will inevitably still come, but the opportunities that Family Weekends afford for families to come together will help calm the waters.

For Glenn and Janet Steele, when they are at home, it is easy to question if they made the right decision to enroll their grandson Jaxson.

“When I am on campus, talking with others and participating in activities, it solidifies my decision and makes us feel a part of the community,” said Glenn.

Learn More about the History of Family Weekends

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.