MHS Onboards Largest Houseparent Class in School History
Milton Hershey School employs over 200 houseparent couples annually to oversee student homes on campus. Houseparents shape the lives of children from lower-income families.
This year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, MHS hired its largest houseparent class in school history with 24 couples in the summer class.
The houseparent couples came from 15 different states including: California, Montana, Florida, Texas, Maine, Illinois, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, and of course, Pennsylvania.
“MHS continues to grow its programming and we need houseparents to help us meet those needs,” said Diana Davis, MHS Curriculum Supervisor. “Houseparents play an important role in fulfilling the mission of MHS as they teach life skills that help our students build character.”
Due to the pandemic, the onboarding process for the summer 2020 class was performed virtually and in socially-distanced classrooms. The class was so large that they were split into two groups and were given staggered start dates.
“The school did an excellent job working through the COVID-19 mitigations and creating a health and safety plan that had the well-being of the MHS community top of mind,” said Josh Barker, a member of the 2020 summer houseparent class.
After their onboarding class, the houseparent couples moved into a flex position at MHS where they support houseparents in student homes.
“We were lucky to have had the opportunity to shadow some student homes before our flex houseparent position started,” Barker said. “It really helped us get to know the students and houseparents and learn their schedules before covering shifts this summer.”
To learn more about the houseparent position and how you could positively impact the lives of MHS students, visit mhskids.org/houseparents.