MHS Eighth-Grader Discovers Passion for Athletics
Originally from DuBois, Pennsylvania, Thomas Riley enrolled at Milton Hershey School in eighth grade after his family learned about the life-changing opportunities the school could provide.
“My family saw all the things MHS could support me with, including housing, healthcare, sports, and college funding,” Thomas said.
Taking advantage of so many opportunities and learning how to acclimate to campus was difficult for Thomas, but it helped him develop independence and participate in new activities. After not being able to join athletic teams at his old school, Thomas was excited to get involved with middle school sports at MHS.
“I surround myself with things I can do, and I stay active with sports and activities,” Thomas said. “I’m still homesick, but being here is good for me.”
As an eighth-grader, Thomas joined the middle school football team in the fall and plans to play baseball or track and field during the spring. His commitment to athletics even extends to the winter months. His favorite sport is ice hockey, an experience that was completely new to him when he enrolled at MHS.
“I had never ice skated before I came to MHS. It was nice to be offered that,” Thomas added.
Inside the classroom, Thomas benefits from small class sizes, hands-on learning opportunities, dedicated teachers, and advanced technology that make the learning process meaningful and relevant for middle school students. With a passion for history and discovery, Thomas’s favorite class is social studies.
“At MHS, it seems like the teachers have more time for me. We can come in for tutoring and things like that,” he shared.
When he begins high school, Thomas hopes to continue playing sports and join new clubs and extra-curricular activities. With an interest in mechanical trades, he’ll have the opportunity to explore the industry through the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which provides students with specialized classes, hands-on experience, and industry-recognized certifications before graduation.
No matter where his path leads, Thomas hopes to stay active and explore all the possibilities ahead of him—opportunities his family envisioned when he enrolled at MHS.
“Try to get involved in everything you can. If something is offered to you, take the offer,” Thomas said.