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Milton Hershey School Senior, Lifer Thanks His Support System

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 senior MHS lifer Antonio Flores reflects on his experience

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

To me, being an MHS lifer feels like I am part of a bigger family at MHS. It means a person perseveres and has hope. I hope to give everything back to my father and make my mother proud.

What is your fondest memory of Milton Hershey School?

One of my fondest memories at MHS is Milton’s Christmas Workshop. I remember, at a young age, all of the toys and gifts seemed like I was in paradise. I remember walking around and picking out gifts for my mom and dad and the look of amazement that overcame their faces when they opened them.

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

After graduation, I will attend Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology to earn my associate’s degree in residential remodeling. My goal is to eventually own a business where I remodel and sell homes. MHS has helped me prepare for graduation by instilling structure and a strong work ethic into me—along with giving me the opportunity to create relationships that will last a lifetime.

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

First and foremost, I would like to recognize my mother for having the courage to enroll me at Milton Hershey School at such a young age (MHS lifer). Even though my mom passed away this past March, I know when I graduate she will be proud of me. I would also like to recognize my father for his endless hard work in continuing to better his life and the life of my siblings—as well as my family for their encouraging talks.

I also would like to recognize my Middle Division houseparents, Mrs. and Mr. Bartos. They were there for me when times were tough and welcomed me with open arms. I thank them for helping my family turn me into the person I am today. Living with them, I learned what a loving and caring relationship should look like.

I would like to acknowledge my mentor, Mr. Sal Hanna. Even though we’ve only known each other for the last four years, he has been a great listener and has made me feel like family. He will be a mentor to me for the rest of my life.

I would also like to recognize my carpentry teacher, Mr. Fick, for always being someone I can count on and for teaching me the ways of a carpenter.

Lastly, I would like to thank all MHS staff, teachers, and houseparents that I have come in contact with. You had made an impact on my character and have helped me to grow into the person I am today.

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.