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MHS Fourth-Grader Pens Powerful Essay About Being a Spartan

As part of a recent writing assignment, Milton Hershey School fourth-grader Daniel Bridgeford was asked to express himself and use his expertise to inform readers on a topic of his choice. Daniel, who enrolled at MHS in first grade, has been impacted by the school in many positive ways.

Inspired by his positive experience, Daniel decided to teach readers how to become an MHS Spartan who remains committed to the school’s Sacred Values, which include integrity, positive spirit, mutual respect, and commitment to mission.

“Getting to see a student express themselves as powerfully as Daniel does in this writing piece is rewarding and inspiring. It is evident he is staying open to the many learning opportunities being presented to him all over campus,” said Danielle Rafferty, an MHS fourth-grade teacher. “Daniel exemplifies the very best of what we hope to accomplish as stewards of Mr. Hershey’s legacy.”

Daniel, MHS fourth-grader“Have you ever felt like a Spartan? At Milton Hershey School, a Spartan is someone who exhibits the four sacred values. Our four sacred values are integrity, commitment to mission, positive spirit, and mutual respect.

I was not showing integrity when I first came to Milton Hershey School. For example, before I came here, I lied a lot. I also noticed that I was damaging my relationship with people. But now I know that I am a Spartan, and Spartans build up relationships.

If you are committed to your mission, you never, ever give up. Commitment to mission means you are focused and fight until the end. It means you have grit and never quit. For example, if there is a math test that is very hard for you, you have to stay committed and never give up. Remember, it might be hard, but Spartans can do hard things.

Positive spirit is a very important value. When you have positive spirit, you can accomplish anything. When you have positive spirit, you have effort, and effort is unlimited.

A positive spirit is important because if someone is better than you but they don’t show a positive spirit and you do, you may be more successful than them. It would be good if you have a positive spirit when you do something you don’t want to do.

Mutual respect is having respect for others and for ourselves. We show respect by listening to each other, by putting our work into action, and by treating others the way they want to be treated.

If you show all of these values, you are a Spartan for life. Remember, Spartans make mistakes, but they get back up again.”


Milton Hershey School’s transformative character and leadership program, otherwise known as The Compass Project, builds on the school’s sacred values to help students become successful leaders and compassionate, global citizens. Through in-classroom lessons and monthly lessons in the student home, students develop social and emotional learning skills that they can carry with them throughout life.

Learn more about the program.

MHS fourth-grader

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.