Path to Post-Secondary Success at Milton Hershey School
For Elementary and Middle Division students at Milton Hershey School, graduating from high school and heading towards post-secondary success can seem years or even decades away. At MHS, though, every student is offered opportunities to develop their interests and passions from as young as kindergarten.
This school year, kindergarten through eighth-grade students were exposed to several different professional areas through a series of career events. For Middle Division students, this consisted of classroom presentations by alumni and MHS community members that focused on their jobs and how they landed where they are now. Soon, these students will be asked to choose a career pathway as a part of the school’s Career and Technical Education program. Events like this allow students to understand the options that exist for them before entering high school.
“Career-focused events, like Middle Division Career Night, is a fun and interactive opportunity for our students to connect with real-world career professionals,” shared Andrew Miller, MHS Social Studies Curriculum Supervisor.
From learning about archeology through dig boxes to visiting with a K-9 officer, Elementary Division students had the opportunity to engage with professionals from MHS and our Hershey entity partners. These interactive activities gave our students the ability to explore career opportunities at an age-appropriate level.
One group of elementary students went to The Hershey Story’s Chocolate Lab to learn about assembly lines. As of part of this hands-on experience, the students made chocolate bars from molds, designed their own labels, and packaged the chocolate bars to enjoy at home. Additionally, the students learned about uniforms and safety measures for a job on an assembly line.
“For assembly lines, you have to work as a team and produce a lot of product to meet the demand,” shared Kira Sivkov, MHS third-grade student. “We learned how to make chocolate bars and even got to eat them afterwards.”
Members of the MHS community have taken this chance to integrate themselves into the career-focused curriculum. President Pete Gurt ’85, along with staff from other departments, such as finance, offered a session at Middle Division Career Night on the importance of leadership.
Miller added, “Thanks to our community and alumni partners, our young students are exposed to a broad range of diverse career fields and job opportunities that provide family-sustaining, middle-class incomes. Our hope is that students walk away from these experiences reflecting on their own career interests and the broad range of future possibilities.”
For many students—not just at MHS—thinking about the future can be an overwhelming experience but by offering space to learn and explore different career options at such a young age, education can make the process more enjoyable. At MHS, career exploration isn’t just encouraged, it’s an intentional part of our whole child approach to education.