Walking Down Memory Lane with Houseparents at Milton Hershey School
By Gina Allessie ’90, MHS High School Physical Education, Health Teacher
Houseparents at Milton Hershey School teach you how to be responsible and accountable. They show you the tough love that you need to be successful. They are fair, firm, loving, and trustworthy people. I see a lot of those traits in myself now. I’m able to recognize the best in people, just like my houseparents did in me.
Houseparents are role models and mentors. They become family. You just build those relationships that last forever. I still keep in contact with my houseparents.
When you run into your former houseparents and teachers, you tend to go down memory lane. You just laugh about the things that we thought were super serious then, but now in hindsight, they are funny. Those experiences taught us life lessons.
Now I’m a teacher with students in my classes who acted like I did when I was a student. It brings back memories. And then I talk about them with my students. They get a good laugh out of some of the memories.
I try to express to my students that we really do have a lot of caring and loving role models here on campus. And just because it’s not your blood relative, that doesn’t mean we can’t consider each other family.
Houseparents give us so much more than we know. It’s not until after graduation that many students appreciate those adult role models and what they give us while we are here.