The Partnership that Helped Me Succeed at Milton Hershey School
By Fonati Abrokwa ’01, MHS Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion
What allowed me to really embrace Milton Hershey School was seeing the collaboration between my parents and my houseparents. It was never any sort of us-versus-them or my parents against the houseparents and staff here. I remember my parents and houseparents working together and saying, “Okay, what’s best here? I don’t have all the answers. You don’t have all the answers. Let’s figure out what works best and work together.”
I think that was key to my success here. I knew they all wanted what was best for me. I knew they were a team. That partnership encouraged me to work through the challenging times and relish in the celebratory times. It showed me how to be a team player.
My houseparents were my biggest cheerleaders. They really pushed and propelled me to be a leader. And when I graduated from MHS, I wanted to continue to make them proud in that way. I soon realized how many life lessons I learned during my time at MHS.
Some of those lessons include confidence in my abilities, working through adversity, collaborating, and striving to be my best self. All those are essential to the role that I’m doing now. I learned about giving back. I learned about equity—how do you remove the barriers for other people and how do you fit into that? I learned all those things through Home Life, academics, and the athletics program here.