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Milton Hershey School Lifer Looks Back on Her Experience Before Graduation

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 “lifers.” As we prepare for Virtual Commencement Weekend 2021, several MHS lifers were interviewed to share their experience.

Milton Hershey School lifer Abigail McClatchy prepares for graduation

What does it mean to be an MHS lifer?

To me, being an MHS lifer defines growth. From the time I stepped foot on campus until now, I have experienced and learned so many things. Milton Hershey School took me out of my struggles and gave me an opportunity to flip my life around. The school has shaped me into the person I am today. Being a lifer represents who I am and all that I have accomplished at the school.

What is your fondest memory of Milton Hershey School?

My fondest memories are through the friendships I have made. Milton Hershey School has given me lifelong friendships. These are different than any friendships you will have in your entire life—people get you and understand your struggles. I love being with my friends and making new memories with them. Every friendship I have made here at MHS has turned into my family.

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

Milton Hershey School gave me a step-up from the rest of my peers through numerous opportunities. MHS has prepared me for life after graduation through the best and worst situations and taught me how to persevere through my struggles and focus on my successes. After MHS, I plan to continue my post-secondary education at Cabrini University.

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

During my time at MHS I have met many people who left a lasting impact on me. Some of the most influential people were my houseparents that took care of me throughout the years:
• My Elementary Division houseparents, the Kalmbachers,
• My Middle Division houseparents, the G’s, and
• My Senior Division houseparents, the Appels.

Although I moved on from each student home, they have kept in contact with me to ensure that I am doing well and staying on track. They are people I know I can count on for advice and help if I am ever struggling. Thank you!

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.