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Sam Duah – Senior Spotlight

As a child growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Sam Duah says he lived in an area that wasn’t the best for him and his siblings. When he entered eighth grade, life changed for him. Sam enrolled at Milton Hershey School and moved to the school’s residential campus where he lived in student homes with up to 12 students of similar ages.

“My houseparents were a big part of shaping me. They molded me and made me mature,” said Sam. “My interactions with them helped me develop and see that there are going to be times in life where I don’t agree, but I can’t always act out. I’m going to have to go with the flow.”

As he adjusted to life on campus, one of Sam’s biggest lessons was learning how to keep an organized schedule and balance his long list of priorities—including social activities, schoolwork, athletic responsibilities, Visual and Performing Arts groups, and communication with his family in Newark.

“My [MHS experience] has been a wild roller coaster ride of emotions and trying to balance my schedule, stay on top of grades, and meet the expectations my parents had for me,” he said. “I’ve tried to stay true to who I am and who I want to be after graduation.”

Sam Duah leaning on a pillar.

During high school, Sam got involved in varsity choir, gospel choir, New Horizons choir, praise band, and cross country. He also completed the Engineering and Design career pathway as part of Milton Hershey School’s Career and Technical Education program. He makes up the 100 percent of graduating seniors who earned at least one industry-recognized certification.

For Sam, the CTE program helped him become certified in AutoCAD and Revit—skills and software that will help him pursue his passion for residential architecture after graduation.

“I like the creative aspect of designing houses that haven’t been fully conceptualized,” Sam said. “I want to come up with [designs] that are beneficial to families who might need it.”

As he approaches graduation, Sam has a head start compared to many college students. He has 17 college credits after taking college courses on the MHS campus in partnership with Temple University. Sam plans to continue his education with Temple University this fall where he’ll study modern and classic architecture.

“I’m excited, but I’m nostalgic because of how I’ve grown as a person with the people at MHS,” Sam said. “The whole journey is fascinating to me—this is a major pinpoint in my life.”

Milton Hershey School’s Career and Technical Education program allows students like Sam to explore their career options, gain professional workplace experience, and develop industry-recognized skills through certification opportunities.

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.