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Milton Hershey School Lifer Cherishes Her MHS Experience

Fulfilling the Hersheys’ vision, more than 600 alumni have enrolled at Milton Hershey School in kindergarten or first grade—some even earlier. When a student finishes their schooling and graduates from MHS approximately 12 years later, these alumni become known as a “lifer.” As we prepare for Virtual Commencement Weekend 2021, several MHS lifers were interviewed to share their experience.

Milton Hershey School lifer and senior student Sarah Reilly

What does it mean to be an MHS lifer to you?

I enrolled at MHS in first grade along with my sister, Haley. Being an MHS lifer means having more than one family—having a set of houseparents that love and care for you like you are one of their own.

What is your fondest memory of Milton Hershey School?

Growing up, I never had my parents in my life. My great grandmother and her friend raised me since I was three years old. When I came to MHS, my houseparents made me feel like I had a family. Being here has allowed me to experience so many things that I would have never experienced in public school. During my time at MHS, I have enjoyed being able to work at concession stands and participate in musicals.

How has your time at MHS helped prepare you for life after graduation?

Milton Hershey School has taught me a lot, especially throughout the pandemic. I learned that even when you feel like you want to give up—don’t, because it will all be worth it in the end.

For underclassman that may be reading this, lifer or not, you can do this. I know it may seem hard now but you got this. In the end, all of your hard work will pay off. My advice to you is to make the most out of your high school days. Go to those football games, go to the plays, go to Hersheypark, because when you don’t have those experiences anymore, you’re going to wish you went. Live your life as if every day is your senior year, because it will truly fly by!

After graduation, I plan to attend Grossmont College in El Cajon, California, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Who would you like to recognize for helping you through your time at the school?

I would like to thank all of my houseparents and Transitional Living staff including: Mr. and Mrs. Vanscoyoc, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Gross and  TL Longfellow staff Ms. Lidles, Ms. Deckard, and Ms. Atkins. I also would like to thank all my coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the track and field team. Lastly, I would like to thank all my teachers for helping me and inspiring me to persevere.

Learn More About the Significance of MHS Lifers Read About the Class of 2021

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.