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The Meaning of Enrollment Day at Milton Hershey School

At Milton Hershey School, students discover opportunities that have the power to transform their lives. It all starts the day they enroll at MHS. On that day, students and their parents/sponsors experience a wide range of emotions. Soon, they discover a safe and supportive community, a top notch education, and a place they can call home. After students graduate and go on to lead fulfilling and productive lives, they often reflect on enrollment day and why it’s a day they will always remember.

Below, some of the more than 10,000 MHS graduates share what enrollment day means to them. Read all 13 testimonials that range in order of graduation year from the Class of 1958 to 2020.

Alum Jules Bosch

Jules Bosch, MHS Class of 1958, Retired Engineer

I enrolled at MHS on the first day of November in the year 1954. All I remember on that sunny autumn day was the bus trip with my mother from South Jersey into Philadelphia, and then out on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Hershey, where I joined my two younger brothers who were already at MHS.

My experiences at MHS would affect the next 66 years of my life in incredible ways, beginning with an excellent education, a stream of enduring friendships, and a work ethic that guaranteed lifelong success.

MHS alum Nigel Morris

Nigel Morris, MHS Class of 1977, Diabetes Care Specialist

On my enrollment day, I remember going outside and playing with all the students in my student home. We had such a good time. It was the beginning of relationships and friendships that have lasted through all these years. Thank you, Milton Hershey School.

MHS alum Bridget Morse '82

Bridget Morse, MHS Class of 1982, Accounting Coordinator

I came to MHS with my brother, Kevin, my sister, Sarah, and my brother, William. I was 14 years old. We left the Philadelphia area early that day. We went to Founders Hall, and then we went to the Clothing Center. I remember feeling overwhelmed because they had given us so many nice things. They made sure everything fit, and they hemmed my pants as my mother would have done. After the Clothing Center, we had lunch, and then we went to our student homes. I met my housemother and waited outside to see all the students coming home from school.

MHS alum Mark Manley '83

Mark Manley, MHS Class of 1983, Retired U.S. Air Force 

I remember my first day at MHS. It was June 26, 1978. While I didn’t know it at the time, that day would prove to be a watershed moment in my life. I remember walking into the student home and meeting my houseparents. I also met 12 other boys who became part of my family. Now, every year on June 26, I think back to that wonderful day in 1978, the day my life changed.

MHS alum Essa Bangura

Essa Bangura, MHS Class of 2001, Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis 

As I reflect on enrollment day, I remember feeling a wide range of emotions. First, I was extremely excited to meet my fellow MHS students and my houseparents. I remember being excited to see basketball courts because I really liked basketball at the time. I also was excited about the beautiful campus.

Throughout enrollment day, I also felt a sense of sadness because I had to say goodbye to my family for the first time. What helped me feel comfortable with my family dropping me off were my roommates. They told me all about what it’s like at MHS.

MHS alum Robin Henderson Williams '03

Robin Henderson Williams, MHS Class of 2003, Medicare Insurance Representative 

I enrolled at MHS on June 24, 1991. I was seven years old. Enrollment day was the first day of a 12-year experience where I gained lifelong friends, mentors, and was given countless opportunities. It was the first day I was able to see how truly strong I am as a person, and how resilient and adaptable we can all be. It was the first day I realized that the choices of my family didn’t have to define my future. It was the first day I became a Spartan, something that I’m proud to carry with me every day of my life.

MHS alum Russell Peggues '08

Russell Peggues, MHS Class of 2008, Senior Manager of Product Development 

Enrollment day at MHS is a very special day in the lives of all students. It is the day we become part of something greater than ourselves, the MHS community. I vividly remember my enrollment day. I remember touring the school with my mother and brother with excitement, as we learned about the many opportunities and resources that would be afforded to use throughout our MHS journey. I also remember being a little afraid because that was the first time in our lives that my brother and I would be away from our mother. I will cherish my enrollment day forever.

MHS alum Patrick Stewart '11

Patrick Stewart, MHS Class of 2011, Tradesman 

Enrollment day, to me, means the world. It’s a day that changed my life. It’s a day that started friendships with people I’ll never forget. It’s a day that I became part of a family that’s bigger than you can imagine. It’s a day that’s still exciting. It wasn’t necessarily an easy day, but it was definitely a day that was worth it.

MHS alum Asia Sanchez '11

Asia Sanchez, MHS Class of 2011, Legal Clerk

I remember enrollment day like it was yesterday. I was eight years old, and I was with my family. It was emotional. It was exciting. I remember going to Founders Hall, seeing the MHS campus, and meeting all these new people who were super nice.

Enrollment day, to me, meant it was going to be the start of a new life that was going to give me opportunities that I may have not had otherwise. I remember my mom telling me, “You’re going to appreciate this one day, and it’s going to mean something one day.”

And it definitely does. I have made lifelong connections, and MHS has become a second home to me.

MHS alum Brihtric Prather '14

Brihtric Prather, MHS Class of 2014, Janitorial Staff 

At the time, enrollment day wasn’t easy, but looking back, it was a necessary day. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people I met and the experiences I had at MHS. Thanks to MHS, I had the opportunity to go to college.

MHS alum Vinnie Caroselli '16

Vinnie Caroselli, MHS Class of 2016, 2020 Graduate of Juniata College

I enrolled at MHS on July 16, 2012. I was filled with nerves, excitement, and fear of the unknown. I remember taking my first steps into the student home to meet my houseparents. I said goodbye to my family. July 16 isn’t just another day for me. It’s the day I took a giant leap of faith toward committing to achieve all of my wildest dreams.

MHS alum Florinda Good Gonzales '19

Florinda Good-Gonzales, MHS Class of 2019, College Student

To me, enrollment day means friends, family, and a lifetime of opportunity. At MHS, I became close friends with the 12 girls who lived in my student home, and every single one of them is a longtime friend I’ve had since then. My houseparents molded me into the strong, independent young woman I am today. And MHS provided me countless opportunities, including international travel to Iceland.

MHS alum Lilly Pettus '20

Lilly Pettus, MHS Class of 2020, College Student

I enrolled at MHS on Oct. 27, 2008, as a first-grader. What enrollment day means to me is the beginning of building new relationships, experiencing new adventures, exploring talents, and so much more. Although you’re leaving behind friends and family, you’re saying hello to your future. And enrollment day is the beginning of that future.

Hear From Our Alumni About The Meaning of Enrollment Day

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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.