Girls Grace Event Goes Virtual
The fifth annual Milton Hershey School Girls Grace event went virtual this year and still created a community empowering experience for 100 MHS Senior Division girls. In following the school’s health and safety practices, the traditional in-person, two-day event had to be reimagined for the 2020-21 school year. Girls Grace embraced the change to become Girls Grace: REFOCUSED.
“The fact that we can have this event, even on a virtual platform, is an example to the students that while things may be different as a result of COVID-19 this school year, we can still have fun and bring the class together,” said Sharice Johnson, founder of Girls Grace and coordinator of Student Character and Leadership Development. “Our students are craving normalcy during an untraditional school year for everyone. It is great to see them learning how to navigate the world around them together and empowered to be leaders in their class and community.”
Through Zoom, the girls gathered with other classmates in their student home and Transitional Living (TL) buildings for the two-hour-long virtual event. Students heard keynote messages from Mrs. Jane Gurt, wife of MHS President Pete Gurt ’85, and Ms. Algene Sajery ’95, Founder and CEO of Catalyst Global. They also heard from an alumnae panel of six MHS graduates and participated in workshops focused on building confidence and developing strategies for stress relief and self-reflection.
The theme for this year’s event was FOCUS ON KINDNESS—kindness to themselves and others. Throughout the night, students learned about establishing a growth mindset, creating personal mantras of self-affirmation, self-care, and most importantly, giving themselves grace as they strive to be their best selves as empowered women.
“This is an event that most girls in the MHS community look forward to every year. I knew it would be different virtually, but it still brought the girls in our community closer together,” said MHS senior Tah-Nayzia Weedon-Clark. “The Girls Grace theme is a reminder that I need to go out of my way to be kind to others. It’s easy to get caught up on what our friends are doing or social media that we forget to reach out to others around us.”
MHS staff members and alumni stepped up to ensure the students had a memorable Girls Grace experience. Seven alumni and 12 MHS staff members participated in the webinar and supported the character-building event. Girls Grace is just one example of the programs designed to help MHS students discover their values and learn the necessary skills to become successful leaders and kind global citizens.