Milton Hershey School Assembly Encourages Students to Live Dr. King’s Dream
Milton Hershey School students, staff, and educators were encouraged to “chase significance” during the school’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Assembly on Monday, Jan. 16.
“One person can make a difference,” A.J. Rinaldi, MHS Home Life Administrator, told the large crowd gathered in Founders Hall Auditorium.
The school community is already well-positioned to accomplish greatness, Rinaldi said. He noted the school’s founder, Milton S. Hershey, donated his fortune he earned from his chocolate company to the school so students in need could gain a strong foundation for their future.
“I’d imagine Dr. King would see the student halls and classrooms, teachers, students, and houseparents of different races and cultures learning together, living with each other, loving each other, and he’d shed tears of joy,” Rinaldi said.
He added Mr. Hershey would be proud of the school’s many graduates but believes Dr. King and Mr. Hershey would say there is still much work to be done to fulfill their visions. “Let’s live the way Dr. King and Mr. Hershey did – let’s live for others,” he said.
Dr. Freda Martine, MHS Vice President of Education and Student Life, noted students serve others in many ways, including through the school’s new community service initiatives. Student homes across campus must complete three projects each marking period. So far this school year, students and staff have participated in a wide range of service-centered activities, including cleaning up after an event at Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery and delivering boxes as part of Operation Christmas Child.
“Serving others is not just about doing things for others, it’s also about using your talents to benefit others and giving back when so much has been provided for us,” Dr. Martine said. “This allows you to celebrate the gifts you’ve been given and appreciate the good around you.”
Dr. Martine recalled the words Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, shared with students at the school’s 1995 Commencement Ceremony.
“She told our school community that any one of us can make a positive difference. It doesn’t matter where we come from or what we look like,” Dr. Martine said. “Each of us has within ourselves a spark. It is lit by our character and our willingness to work hard.”
The assembly also featured performances by the MHS Guitar Ensemble and Friends, Varsity Choir, and Spartan Dancers. Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning employee Regina Gail Molloy echoed Rinaldi’s call to “live for others” by singing “If I Can Help Somebody.”
The MHS community continued to honor the day through classroom activities and special events. The assembly provides an opportunity for the students and staff to reflect on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how we can continue to move the mission of MHS and its founders forward.