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Whatever You Do, Do It Well

By Clare Ogle, an MHS houseparent

I’m not convinced that Milton Hershey loved chocolate more than anything else. Why? Hear me out. I think Milton Hershey enjoyed chocolate, but I think it’s what he could do with it that he loved the most.

Milton wanted to be successful and to make a name for himself. As most people know, he tried and failed numerous times. And then, finally, he made it big with his milk chocolate. But what did he do once he made it big? He shared it. He shared his passion with his employees, his family, and his friends. He did business and he did it well.

The point wasn’t the product—the point was the passion.

Milton cared a lot about people and about doing things well. This is something we try to instill in the boys in our student home. When we ask them what they want to do when they grow up, we aren’t necessarily looking for a specific answer. We’re looking to find their passion.

For example, I think how they end up doing their job is going to be more important than what job they do. What they want to fix or who they want to help through their job is way more important than the job itself.

This can be a difficult concept for some of them to grasp. Some have a clear idea of what they want to do, but many are indifferent and say they just want to make money. While this is disheartening for me, I also know it’s awfully hard to force passion. Perhaps we can help to unlock something inside of them that helps them find what they love.

At Milton Hershey School, the sky is the limit for students. They can study agriculture, culinary arts, photography, writing, and other career concentrations. They can take college classes, help with small children, lifeguard, tutor, work at a job off campus, intern with local businesses, and the list goes on! They are so fortunate. But they have to be willing to try.

As their houseparents, teachers, parents/sponsors, and staff, we have the opportunity to get to know these students and see things inside them that they can’t yet see themselves. What an awesome responsibility!

Thankfully, these students have a daily reminder of what it’s like to do something and to do it well. Milton and Catherine Hershey’s pictures, words, and vision are all over this beautiful campus. I bet they would be far more proud of the success of the students at this school than of all of the chocolate in the world.

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.