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Milton Hershey School Seniors Become Certified Nursing Assistants

Nine Milton Hershey School seniors reached a milestone toward achieving post-secondary success by becoming certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

Milton Hershey School students stand together after earning their CNAs.

The seniors are part of the school’s Health Sciences career pathway. The pathway prepares high school students for health-related careers.

“I chose Health Sciences because it gives me an opportunity to help others who can’t help themselves,” said MHS senior Kendra Hamilton. “I got to experience going to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) to get my CNA. It allowed me to get a bedside perspective of nursing and helped me decide that this is really what I want to do for a career.”

Through the MHS Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, MHS students can gain certifications and college credits. Through a partnership with HACC, students completed a CNA program that included classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and clinical experience.

In the spring, after graduating from the program, all nine students passed a written test and skills exam to earn their certification.

“Providing our students with career exposure helps them to determine if this career path is a good fit,” said MHS Director of College and Career Readiness Sheila McCrillis-Ciotti. “There are many benefits to the credential and completing the program, whether students wish to enter the workforce directly or go to college.”

Our Hershey entity partners are further supporting our students to achieve success. Through a partnership with Penn State Health, these new CNAs will continue to gain real-world experience.

“We’ve been seeing behind-the-scenes through different rotations at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center,” said MHS senior Anna Allen. “When most people think of a Health Sciences career, they think of being a nurse or a doctor. It’s just really cool to see the different options.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of CNAs is anticipated to grow by 5% between 2021 and 2031 with a projected 220,200 job openings each year.

Milton Hershey School students stand together with their teachers after becoming Certified Nursing Assistants.

Kendra and Anna are already using their certifications. They both began part-time employment at Country Meadows in Hershey, Pennsylvania. After graduation, they plan to expand on their careers from Certified Nursing Assistants to pursue degrees in nursing.

Congratulations to the Nine MHS Seniors Who Earned Their CNA:

  • Anna Allen
  • Zion Fitzgerald
  • Imani Gonzalez
  • Kendra Hamilton
  • Ofere Lomodong
  • Surya Pacheco
  • Rain Shokralla
  • Brijoanna Stewart
  • Tiffany Tejada

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.