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Paying It Forward

By Terry Donaher, an MHS Houseparent

I don’t know where I would be without Milton Hershey School and the foresight that Milton and Catherine had over a hundred years ago. It has changed my life tremendously. I often think about Milton Hershey doing so much for me and wanting to give back to Milton Hershey School. I always want to pay it forward.

In our student home, we talk to our boys about appreciating the gift of Milton Hershey School. It truly is a gift. We encourage them to not just think of the school as something they are owed, but something they really value and cherish.

Because we work with 4 and 5-year-old boys, they don’t fully understand someone giving away their entire fortune over a hundred years ago.

We try to help them understand and teach them that there’s value in everything they have at MHS because of someone’s selfless act so many years ago.

MHS elementary students in raincoats

At MHS, I feel that it’s my purpose to make individual connections with students so we can have a lifelong relationship together. I want them to know they will be able to rely on me long after they leave our student home and long after they leave MHS. I want them to know they can always come back and we’ll be here to support them.

It’s amazing to think that Milton and Catherine had this thought so long ago. It started small and has grown to what it is today. There are over 10,000 alumni who would say, “Milton Hershey absolutely got it right.” And there are so many students who tip their hats and thank Milton and Catherine every day.

Learn More about houseparenting at MHS

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.