Skip to content

Milton Hershey School Lifer Appreciates Opportunities

Jalynn Braxton will graduate in June with the distinction of being a Milton Hershey School lifer. MHS has had more than 600 alumni enroll in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade. At MHS, these students earn the distinction of being a lifer once they complete their 12 years of schooling and graduate.

As we prepare to celebrate them at the school’s 90th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 9, we asked several of this year’s 18 lifers what their time at MHS has meant to them.

Jaylynn Braxton '24 appreciates her MHS teachers.

What inspired you or your family to choose MHS for your education?

My mom went to Lower Dauphin High School and my grandparents were both teachers at Hershey High, so my family always knew of Milton Hershey School. When my mom was struggling financially to provide for me, my grandparents suggested MHS. I have been here ever since.

How would you describe your journey from the moment you enrolled at MHS to your final year at MHS?

My journey at MHS has definitely not been easy. Many times, I didn’t think I would be able to make it through, but I was resilient and made it. My journey proves to me that I can really accomplish anything I want in life.

What does the school theme “Breakthrough” mean to you? What are some of the Breakthrough moments you’ve had at MHS?

The theme “Breakthrough” means that you can discover something about yourself or the world around you after a period of hardships. Some of the Breakthrough moments I have had are competing in a mock trial, even though I didn’t think I was ready, and passing my AP Calculus exam when I thought I would fail. These experiences made me realize that I am smarter and know more than I think I do.

Who has made an impact on you during your time at MHS? Describe how they have helped you.

My high school houseparent, Mr. Sheldon Green, has made a significant impact on my life. In my three years with him, he helped me understand my true potential. He is always straightforward with me and doesn’t let me settle for anything less than I deserve. He knew that my future was bright and pushed me to do better. Mr. Green is one of the reasons why I was able to make it through high school and do as well as I did.

Business Education Teacher Jennifer Drey has also made a huge impact on my journey. I have had her as a teacher for two years now. Before her class, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated from MHS. All I knew was that I wanted to do something involving math. I took one accounting class and knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. She has pushed me to do things that I would have never sought out on my own, like competing in Future Business Leaders of America competitions.

Thanks to Mrs. Drey’s guidance, I will be attending the University of Pittsburgh and majoring in accounting. My plan is to get my Certified Public Accountant license and then be a public accountant.

How has MHS prepared you for your future?

MHS instilled good morals and the school’s Sacred Values in me. Without MHS, I don’t think I would have the same morals as I do now. I also think that I will be ahead of my peers with cleaning skills because I have been doing chores since I was 4.

What are some of the most memorable, fun memories that you’ve had during your time here? What are some of the clubs/activities you’ve been able to be part of?

One of my favorite memories of being in is student home vacations.  The annual trips always make me feel closer as a student at home.

In high school, I have been a part of Mentoring Our Leaders’ Development (M.O.L.D.), the M.O.L.D. committee, the M.O.L.D. student leader, culture diversity club, peer tutoring, the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (math honors society), cross country, mock trial, Future Business Leaders of America, and New Horizons.

These extracurricular activities enriched my educational experience and introduced me to many friends who made a meaningful impact on my life.

What advice would you share with a younger MHS student as they work hard and persevere toward their Breakthrough moment?

The people around you are trying to make your life better for you. MHS is full of helpful people and amazing opportunities; don’t miss out.

Explore Student Activities 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.