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Milton Hershey School Lifer Learned the Meaning of Family

Milton Hershey School has had more than 600 alumni enroll in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade—or sometimes even earlier. 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 89th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 11, we asked several of this year’s 18 lifers what their time at MHS has meant to them.

Milton Hershey School lifer Marcus Rodriguez

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

Being a lifer means being connected to a family that will always be there for me. My relationships with students, staff, houseparents, and teachers at MHS have given me the confidence I need to succeed. I am excited to carry these relationships with me into the future. 

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

My time at MHS has prepared me for life after graduation through the valuable lessons I have been taught. Houseparents, teachers, and peers taught me to be a respectful and hard-working person. This will help me succeed as I start a new journey. 

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am looking forward to spending time with my family and accepting new responsibilities, like a summer job. I am ready to take these next steps because of the way MHS prepared me with the skills and resources to navigate the world as an adult.

When you think about life after graduation from Milton Hershey School, as a lifer, what comes to mind? 

The first thing that comes to mind is being excited about growing connections and personal bonds with teachers, houseparents, and other staff after graduation. Even though I won’t be an MHS student anymore, I know the school will always be here for me. MHS will always be an important part of my life. 

Read More about the Significance of Lifers at MHSLearn More about the Class of 2023

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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.