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Milton Hershey School Lifer Shares the Skills He Gained

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 senior Darrin Okere-Darko.

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

Being a lifer at MHS means you have grit. Those who have persevered through more than a decade at the school and did not give up achieved quite the accomplishment. Being a Milt is not easy. With the separation from family on a daily basis to the high expectations of MHS students, not just anyone can graduate from the school. To be a lifer means you took advantage of every opportunity and overcame all obstacles in front of you to create your own success. 

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

Leaving MHS, I will take my determination and work ethic with me. These skills and my MHS support system have helped me work through hard times over the years. I am grateful that I will be able to keep the connections I have made with my classmates, houseparents, teachers, and mentors as I start a new journey.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

What I most look forward to are the different environments and opportunities I will be presented with after I graduate. I am excited to use the skills I learned at MHS in a real-world setting. I will miss the relationships I’ve gained here but am looking forward to seeing them grow and evolve after graduation.

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

Even when I am no longer an MHS student, I will remain a part of this community. Being a lifer or a Milt is a title that I get to keep for the rest of my life. My experiences here are what shaped me into the person I am today.

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.