The Power of One: The Making of a Champ
Champayne “Champ” Hess ’10 recognizes the importance of mentors and how influential one person can be in helping us achieve our goals. She just finished a storybook field hockey season at Millersville University, scoring the winning goal in overtime to get the Marauders to the NCAA Division 2 Field Hockey National Championship…which they went on to win!
Even as Champ celebrates this victory and being named to the All-American team by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, she can’t help but reflect on the people who helped to get her there.
“Gina [Allessie ’90] pushed me on the field and in the classroom,” said Champ. “She and Mr. Allessie were like a second family. She taught me to be feisty, to keep trying and to go for it. She saw the potential in me.”
Champ came to Milton Hershey School in first grade. During her time here she took part in many of the school’s athletic programs, including basketball, track, softball, and soccer. And then there was field hockey.
“As soon as we started working with her in elementary school, we noticed her athleticism,” said Gina, physical education/health teacher and Champ’s elementary school field hockey coach. “She always had a good heart and a light in her spirit. She was always smiling and positive. It made you want to help her succeed.”
The Allessies went the extra mile for Champ, taking her out on visits, celebrating her birthdays and staying in touch throughout the year, even when field hockey season had ended. To this day they remain close. Gina describes Champ as being like one of her own children.
Gina noted that when she was a student at the school, it was April Alleman, director of Year-Round Experiences, who encouraged her.
“She would always be on me about grades and behavior. She spent time with me on weekends and holidays and visited me in college,” said Gina. “I wanted to give that back to someone else. If you invest in our students and treat them like your own, they will be successful and go above and beyond for you.”
Champ, Gina and April are compelling examples of the Power of One.
As Milton Hershey School employees, it is our obligation to help our students fulfill their possibilities. Every student has the potential to be a champ.