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Milton Hershey School Students Place in Cultural Essay Contest

The Dauphin County Commissioners recently recognized four Milton Hershey School students as winners of the board’s annual Cultural Essay Contest.

Elizabeth Stedge and Amerah Coleman placed in the 6-10 age group for their essays on “Do you think your school and community are diverse?” Paige Cline earned a top spot in the 11-14 age category for writing about “Why are diversity, equity and inclusion important in building stronger communities?” Mikayla Eslinger won in the 15-18 age group for sharing thoughts about an international leader who is no longer with us.

Each topic asked the students to reflect on cultural diversity in their own lives. For the MHS community, valuing diversity is second nature. Whether it be the diversity of thought across our campus or the many different places and cultures our students enroll from, MHS believes in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Our students thought about the world around them and how it has affected them,” shared Sharice Johnson, MHS Staff Student Engagement Coordinator. “Our students embrace opportunities to share their perspectives. Their essays offer insight on how they feel and view world matters. Our students display passion and enthusiasm about the opportunity to be heard. I am beyond proud of them for their courage to gather their thoughts and write them in a way for us all to understand and relate to.”

Mike Pries, chair of the Dauphin County Commissioners, commended MHS students for excelling in the contest. The commissioners’ office has conducted the contest for almost 20 years, Pries said.

“The essays each year present kind of a snapshot of what is happening in society at that time,” Pries said. “It has been interesting to see the changes in the past two decades.”

The Cultural Essay Contest closely aligns with the school’s 2025 strategic plan. Also known as the MILT Plan, it aims to engage the campus community in ways to model character and well-being.

Learn More About Diversity and Inclusion at MHS

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.