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Perseverance and the Days I Will Always Remember

By Helena Taylor, a senior at MHS

For the most part our eyes allow us to see. As an essential body part, our eyes give us vision which allows us to see our past, present, and future. But who would have known something so minor would affect me so much?

Throughout my years at Milton Hershey School, I have learned there are two kinds of stares: the stare of curiosity or the stare of inferiority. Constantly traveling in a pack of 12 or more, I consequently began to fear eyes. I could handle eye contact, but the view of my life from an outside perspective is what I feared. The simple beeping of the vans and the addressing of our houseparents as Mr. and Mrs. would draw people to stare. The legendary trolley drives through campus with hundreds of eyes focused on us. People would pay to see us in our natural habitats. Undoubtedly, there are always those people who want to know why such a varied group of kids were together.

But then there were looks of disgust or disinterest with our motley group. Unintentionally, I took every stare personally. Certainly, the pressure to prove myself motivated me and my peers. The people of Hershey and other spectators are not as accepting of MHS students which has only been a challenge. Everyday people watch to see if we will struggle and fail. Failing would only prove society right. In this situation, it is inevitable to turn to friends and family. But MHS has become not only my friends but also my family.

MHS provides me with staff I can run to who will help me but not shield me. The lesson of it all is to live as if people are always watching.

I advise students to embrace the stares, so when we do succeed we have witnesses to attest to our strength. We need to persevere through discomfort because discomfort creates a challenge, and a challenge creates a Milt.


Helena enrolled at MHS in ninth grade from Columbus, Ohio.

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. View full Equal Opportunity Policy.