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Milton Hershey School Lifer Shares More Than a Decade of Memories

Milton Hershey School has had more than 600 alumni enroll in either 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. This year, we sat down with several of the 26 MHS lifers and asked them to share their journeys to Commencement.

Milton Hershey School lifer, Kya Han, celebrates time at MHS

Who was your favorite teacher?

Mrs. Hess had the greatest impact on my life. There are still conversations that I had with her when I was in fourth grade that I remember vividly. I could just tell that she wanted her classroom environment to be fun and welcoming. She always had interactive activities to prepare us with the necessary skills, but also to allow us to have fun while learning. She always went above and beyond.

Who were your favorite houseparents?

I’ve been lucky enough to having three sets of wonderful houseparents. To this day, I continue to be close with each of them and feel supported and loved by them. The Mladenoffs—who have now retired—will always have a magical place in my heart because of the way we bonded and because of the people that they are. They consistently went above and beyond in everything they did for each of their students and words will never be able to express my love and gratuity for them. Today, they are like they my second parents.

What will you miss most about MHS?

I will miss the atmosphere and sense of community on campus. MHS is so unique in that all the students and staff know one another. Something I have always appreciated is keeping in touch with other students, even if we are not close acquaintances. I have loved the mutual partnership between us as peers—that we appreciate and care about each other—even from a distance. Since I grew up here, I will miss this community but I know that this community will always exist in my life.

What is the greatest skill you have learned at MHS?

MHS taught me that there is a time and place for everything. During my time here, I learned the important social skill of when and how to say and do things. Not everything needs to be said and thinking before you speak will get you farther than saying everything that comes to your mind. This skill will carry me long after I graduate from MHS. I also learned the importance of developing relationships in order to have tough conversations.

Learn More About the Significance of Lifers at MHS Read More About the Class of 2022

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.