The Power of the Spark
When sparks happen in our lives, we have two choices: we can let them simmer and fade, or we can seize the moment. When Milton Hershey had the opportunity to make chocolate, he took it.
At Milton Hershey School, we’re seizing opportunities and creating sparks that push us one step closer to where we want to be.
“There is no better place to find your spark than at Milton Hershey School—a place where you’re surrounded by love, opportunity, and high expectations,” said MHS President Pete Gurt ’85.
When you live, work, and study in a place that provides continuous encouragement and support, you have the power to be the spark, find your spark, and share your spark—just like Milton Hershey did throughout his life. Learn more about Mr. Hershey’s spark moments and how you can spark your own definition of success.
Be the Spark
As successful as Milton Hershey became, it’s difficult to imagine him being discouraged. However, during his very first apprenticeship, he was learning how to use the printing press. He wasn’t very good at it, and he was frustrated that he wasn’t making candy. When Milton felt discouraged, he remembered his mother’s advice: when you tackle a job, stick to it until you’ve won the battle.
Mr. Hershey’s spark decision was sticking through the tough times. He knew how to be a spark in the face of adversity, and this mindset guided his future achievements.
How to be the spark:
- Be positive and joyful. Your smile and positive spirit can make a difference when you’re building friendships, mentoring students, and welcoming new people onto campus.
- Don’t quit—even if you face a challenge. No matter what, complete tasks to the best of your ability and tell yourself you can do them. When you believe in yourself, anything is possible.
- Commit to excellence. If you hold yourself to high standards throughout your education and your career, you can help break the cycle of poverty.
Find Your Spark
Milton Hershey’s venture into chocolate-making came from a longstanding vision and a quick opportunity. His father, Henry, first introduced him to the idea of making chocolate and Milton payed attention to the growing demand. After seeing an exhibit of machines that made chocolate in 1893, he decided then and there that he was going to make chocolate. This decision shaped the course of his life.
Milton was able to find his spark by discovering his passion for chocolate-making.
How to find your spark:
- Build positive connections with teachers, students, and alumni. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Embrace surprises and unexpected moments. Sometimes, your spark can happen when you least expect it and fuel you to pursue something you never thought possible.
- Find a moment of inspiration. Whether it’s your cousin walking across the graduation stage or being recognized for your talents, let that moment be your motivation. Visualize it to help you achieve success, especially when you feel discouraged.
Share Your Spark
When Milton Hershey built his chocolate company, he never dreamed it would grow to be so successful—but it did. This led to another spark decision in 1909. Milton and his wife Catherine decided to put their money to good use to help children in need. Unable to have children of their own, the Hersheys wanted to help young people who didn’t have opportunities by founding Milton Hershey School.
They shared their spark by giving back to others and creating a life full of possibilities for children in Pennsylvania and beyond.
How to share your spark:
- Find ways to give back to others. Whether you’re volunteering in your community or mentoring a new student on campus, do your part to fulfill the Hersheys’ legacy.
- Be a source of encouragement. You can help others believe in themselves and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Confidence and encouragement are some of the most powerful sparks.
- Reflect on the people who have changed your life. Think about their positive attributes and how they were able to make a difference. Strive to emulate these characteristics, so you can share life-changing sparks with those around you.
Need more inspiration? Listen to more spark moments from the MHS community.