Milton Hershey School Provides Mentorship in a Virtual World
At Milton Hershey School, mentorship is an element of the whole child approach for students from pre-kindergarten to senior year.
The MHS Student Government Association’s Breaking the M.O.L.D. mentoring program encourages staff members to volunteer their time to create meaningful relationships with Senior Division students. The goal of the program is to build long-lasting mentor connections that the student will carry with them beyond their MHS graduation.
Erica Paul, MHS Learning Development Specialist, mentors several students with M.O.L.D. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mentorship looked a bit different than ever before.
“It was/is challenging, but we continue to communicate through text message, FaceTime, and on social media,” Paul said. “I want to be there for my mentees, whether that be giving advice or supporting them in whatever they’re a part of.”
One of Paul’s mentees, Laura Ierley ’20, is a recent graduate and now a freshman at Penn State University. To get her started and encouraged in this next chapter in her education, Paul has kept in contact with Laura by phone and sent her a box full of goodies to start the school year.
“I try to keep in touch as much as possible with my girls,” Paul said. “I am involved in my mentees’ activities (when they’re happening), grades, goals, and anything I can do to support them throughout the year.”
This year, more than 200 staff members have stepped up to mentor Senior Division students virtually for the 2020-21 school year. On Monday, Oct. 5, M.O.L.D. kicks off the “mentor” school year with initiatives to keep the mentees/mentors engaged while physically distanced. It is important to MHS that relationships remain strong and students have the opportunity to form life-long relationships outside of the classroom with MHS staff.
*Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place.
*Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.