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Senior Spotlight: A Message to My MHS Brothers and Sisters

By Eli, a senior at MHS

Just about 8 years ago, I stepped into a land of opportunity for the first time. As I walked into Founders Hall, I could almost feel the burden being lifted from my back and the chains of poverty that had restrained me being broken. I came into the school with expectations. I expected to no longer worry about where my next meal would come from, no longer worry about my medical needs, and to have the opportunity to go to college.

However, I never expected to find a second family.

From teachers and advisors to my wonderful classmates (shoutout to the Class of 2017), I have formed stronger connections than I ever expected as a 9-year-old in Memorial Hall. My biggest piece of advice is to make strong connections during your time at MHS. A scholarship is amazing, but the people at our school are even more amazing.

The road out of poverty is often a lonely one. At MHS and beyond, there will be days where you feel like your support system is nonexistent. There will be days where you feel that settling for the expectations society has set for students from our backgrounds is easier than reaching for the dreams that many have deemed “unrealistic” for us.

More than 2,000 members of the MHS family gathered for Founders Feast, a special dinner to commemorate MHS founders Milton and Catherine Hershey.

In my hardest of moments, my support system at MHS has helped me stay focused. I still remember the words my best friend texted me when I was struggling with challenges back home. I still read the notes hundreds of students made for me in Ms. Henry’s class when I needed encouragement.

The road out of poverty is challenging and full of struggles, but the people you meet at MHS can make it a little less lonely.

Having role models is important but don’t forget that you are a role model, too. The entire school is looking up to Senior Division for our leadership. Never underestimate the impact your time has on the lives of others. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a recent graduate mentor me, and his encouragement has inspired me to reach for my dreams. I have also been able to share that inspiration with others, and I urge you to do the same.

Whether they’re a mentor or a mentee, the people at MHS will change your life if you let them.

Enjoy your time as a student. It’s an amazing journey.

Eli enrolled at MHS in fourth grade from Pittsburgh, PA.

Student Voices Blog

Milton Hershey School students are confident leaders, global citizens, compassionate members of the community, focused scholars and fearless problem solvers. They also have strong voices and inspirational stories. Follow our Student Voices blog series to read students’ perspectives on service, graduation, internships and more, written in their own words.

Read More Student Voices Posts

Human Resources
P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


Founders Hall
P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


Enrollment Management Center
430 East Governor Road
Hershey, PA 17033

(800) 322-3248


665 Brook Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 520-2808