Milton Hershey School is My Life
By Braden Maines ’80, MHS Alumnus and Custodian
Milton Hershey School is an amazingly unique place. It’s impacted thousands of alumni and employees.
It goes back a few years for me. I am a proud member of the MHS Class of 1980. My twin brother and I enrolled at MHS in kindergarten. We both graduated from MHS 13 years later. My brother and I enjoyed our time as students here. The staff at MHS made our experience rewarding, and the connections we made while we were here are great.
I stayed connected with my houseparents after graduation. Seven years after I received my MHS diploma and class ring, they told me about a job opening at MHS. I decided to fill out an application, I got an interview, and I was delighted when I got the job. My houseparents helped me move to the area, and 33 years later I’m still here.
MHS is my life. It’s always been my life. It’s been the majority of my years so I owe a lot of gratitude to Milton and Catherine Hershey.
We have a good staff here. Every department—education, home life, operations, and more—has a part to play and an impact to make. In the Building Services department, we do the inside operations jobs such as cleaning, freight, setting up tables and chairs for events like Enrollment Days, and other tasks. These duties are daily, including weekends.
It’s nice to be able to interact with the other staff and the students. That’s important to me as an alum. When I get a chance to talk with the students, I always encourage them to enjoy their time at MHS. They like to hear that from someone who went through what they’re going through. I think motivating our students is important because I know I had that when I was a student.
I think our standards are set high at MHS because we’re all here for the students. The school values what we do, and in return, we want to give the school quality work. And we enjoy what we do both within our department and the larger MHS staff. It takes all of us to make this big ship run. I’m just glad I get to be a part of it.
It’s not always about recognition. Sometimes you receive a compliment from a student, a teacher, or your supervisor because they appreciate what you do. That’s rewarding, but for me, I enjoy what I do even if it isn’t always recognized.