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The Power of One

By Denise Witmer, MHS Second Grade Teacher and MHS Alumna

As I was thinking about what to write about for this month’s blog, I began to think about this year’s Opening of School Assembly which inspired us to contribute to one another’s lives. We were encouraged to share our commitment via #MHSPowerofOne. I began to think of the different ways others have influenced me or the various ways I have watched people in my life influence others.

MHS Fest

The Power of One: My sister-in-law Nancy joined my family in 1972 and has been a strong force ever since. She taught me to be a strong and independent woman. To believe in myself and to never give up. She displayed strength, determination, but most profoundly she demonstrated unconditional love. I have no memories in which Nancy is not present in a very significant way. She has been a mother, a friend, and a counselor.

She has contributed to my life in countless ways and I hope that I have repaid her love by living up to all she believed I could be.

Denise Selfie

The Power of One: My Senior Division housefather, Mr. Ken Armish, would not let me be defined by a standardized test score, but yet defined me by all the qualities he saw in me from ninth to 12th grade at student home Maizeland. He helped me realize that my SAT score would not determine my worth or my success, but my effort and motivation would be my guiding force. He gave me the push I needed to pursue a teaching degree and never lost faith that I would graduate from college and do something meaningful and successful.

I can remember our talk in the kitchen of Maizeland as if it were yesterday. His words encouraged me and I’m forever grateful for his trust and belief in me.

The Power of One: My fellow MHS Class of 1988 classmate Mary McDonagh Peterson has continuously and tirelessly displayed the qualities that would make Mr. and Mrs. Hershey proud. She is a true friend. She gives to everyone, even if it means she must sacrifice things for herself to help others.

She knows everyone, keeps in touch with everyone, and is a friend to everyone. She puts others before herself and has been a true example of contributing to others’ lives. She inspires me to do more.

As I think about how we can contribute to one another’s lives, I realize that we affect each other daily. Often times, we are not aware of the words or actions that help others gain confidence or become encouraged, but we can be the source that influences another. So when we think others aren’t paying attention to what we say or do, think again.

One word, one smile, one action can make all the difference…The Power of One.

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.