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Milton Hershey School Welcomed Local Executives to Student-Led Leadership Conference

On Saturday, April 1, Milton Hershey School students were joined by executives from several of the school’s Hershey entity partners and more, at the Student Government Association’s (SGA) seventh Leadership Conference. From Michele Buck, CEO of The Hershey Company to Dr. Yatin M. Vyas, Vice President  and Physician Leader at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, students had the opportunity to learn from leaders with different backgrounds and expertise.

Michele Buck, CEO of The Hershey Company speaks to Milton Hershey School students at student-led leadership conference.

The Conference, which focused on the school year theme of Day 1 … Day WON, was attended by nearly 200 MHS Senior Division students, and several students from the local area. Also among the attendees were five MHS Middle Division students who were hand-selected to join their older peers based on grades and character.

The event, which was planned and executed by Senior Division SGA students, offered attendees the opportunity to listen to two keynote speakers and attend four breakout sessions with a choice between 10 presenters. Topics such as learning how to fail forward, embrace the opportunities in front of you, and understand the weight that our words can have, were examined and explored. The Conference served as an opportunity for students to connect—and reconnect—with experts in several different career fields.

Beautifull Pyatt, MHS senior, was excited about the opportunity to learn from the presenters and her peers.

“After interning at The Hershey Company, I was introduced to Michele Buck, the President and CEO, who showed me—simply by her career—that as a woman, I could break every glass ceiling in front of me,” she shared.

Milton Hershey School students learn to be leaders during a breakout session at the 2023 SGA Leadership Conference.

As a part of the Conference, Beautifull attended Buck’s breakout session.

She added: “At the SGA Leadership Conference, I was honored to attend the breakout session she led that discussed conquering your greatest fears and becoming your truest self as a leader.”

The day was centered around empowering the next generation of leaders. Even during lunch, students were encouraged to write cards to the elderly at local nursing homes and care centers. This exercise alone was an important reminder that to lead is also to give back—much like MHS founders Milton and Catherine Hershey once believed.

Milton Hershey School alumnus, Garry Gilliam '09, speaks with a current student.

Students will have the opportunity to continue connecting with leaders from across partner organizations through internships, mentoring relationships, and career-focused education activities that happen year-round.

Learn about Character and Leadership at MHS Read about Beautifull’s Experience

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.