Ladayah Robinson ’18
At a young age, Ladayah Robinson and her three siblings from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were adopted by their grandparents.
“My grandparents tried their best to be everything that we needed them to be,” Ladayah said. “But it was hard on them to be parents again as they were in and out of the hospital.”
That’s when the Robinsons found out about Milton Hershey School (MHS). As a fourth-grader, Ladayah, along with her siblings, enrolled at MHS to alleviate their grandparents’ stress.
“MHS helped my family survive and succeed,” Ladayah said. “The school was able to assist my grandmother and get us through the hard times.”
During Ladayah’s nine years at MHS, she became close with the staff and community, who mentored and pushed her to succeed. Her houseparents were especially influential by providing her unconditional love in a residential setting when she needed it most.
As a senior at MHS, Ladayah participated in the Transitional Living (TL) experience where she lived with three other female seniors in an apartment-style setting. She believes this experience taught her problem-solving skills and how to live and adapt to others.
“There is no doubt that the school is a community—a family—that no one else will understand unless you’re a MILT,” Ladayah said.
In the spring of 2018, she graduated from Milton Hershey School and started her undergrad at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
While studying at Duquesne, Ladayah benefited from her Continued Education Scholarship (CES), an MHS-funded scholarship that helps MHS students pay for postsecondary education.
“I am very grateful for my CES scholarship,” Ladayah said. “It helped pay for my tuition, housing, and sometimes, even my books.”
As a MILT, Ladayah had a hard time transitioning from Hershey to the real world. She is thankful for the Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Division and all of the staff members who have helped her stay afloat by providing support and guidance as she navigates college life.
“MHS has become my heart and family,” Ladayah said. “The staff shaped me into who I am today.”
She now is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in strategic communications at Wilkes University and intends to graduate next year. Ladayah wants to thank Milton Hershey School’s co-founders Milton and Catherine Hershey for their selflessness.
“Because of you, I am not a statistic,” Ladayah said. “I found love and a family of my own.”
She believes the school is making a difference for low-income families—one child at a time.