Nicky Ren ’17
As a sixth-grader, Nicky Ren from Staten Island, New York, enrolled at Milton Hershey School with the support of his parents who wanted him to lead a better life. Between work schedules and taking care of his brother, Nicky’s parents ultimately knew that MHS would be a better opportunity for their son to become successful.
The Rens were reassured by their decision when Nicky arrived in Hershey, Pennsylvania, greeted with open arms. At MHS, every student’s future is full of possibilities. The school works to eliminate the stress surrounding providing for all students’ daily needs. Healthcare, psychological services, housing, clothing, food, and technology are all provided to MHS students at no cost to them or their families.
“It was really nice to know that I was receiving the best care all around,” Nicky said. “This allowed me to excel academically and make a difference in my community.”
During Nicky’s high school experience, he explored the Engineering and Design career pathway in the hands-on Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. He especially enjoyed his engineering classes with Mr. Louis Garcia, where he was able to leverage his analytical skills while learning programs.
“In my junior year, I placed third in a SkillsUSA competition for engineering and draft design,” Nicky said. “I was able to use the skills I learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world situations.”
Nicky graduated from Milton Hershey School in the spring of 2017. After graduation, he enrolled at Villanova University and pursued a finance and economics major within their business school.
Throughout his four years of college, Nicky took full advantage of the Milton Hershey School Continuing Education Scholarship (CES) to pay for his tuition, housing, and meal plans. Aside from college assistance, Nicky also was able to study abroad in Shanghai and Hong Kong, thanks to his CES funding—an internship and global experience all in one.
“It was reassuring to know that I did not have to worry about the financial burden of college, or the expenses that came along with it,” Nicky said.
While Nicky was at Villanova, the MHS Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Division kept in contact with him to make sure he was utilizing the resources that the university provided. In addition, his higher education support specialist would connect with him about potential MHS students interested in attending Villanova so Nicky could provide insight on the experience and how he was able to succeed.
In May 2021, Nicky graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University. Now, he is pursuing a banking career in New York City, his hometown.
“The intangible skill sets that I developed at MHS allowed me to thrive in college, and I’m looking to tap into these skills again in the workplace,” Nicky said. “MHS has served as a support system for me with all major decisions in my life, and I know that the school will continue to support me moving forward.”
As Nicky progresses in his career, he hopes to give back to MHS in gratitude for all it has done for him.
“I am a proud graduate of MHS, as the school has made such an impact on my life,” Nicky said. “Along with my Milt brothers and sisters, I’ve developed lifelong friendships. The power that this experience has had on my family and siblings is something that I can never repay.”
And to Mr. and Mrs. Hershey, Nicky says, “Your dream has become such a success, and it’s impacted so many lives—including my own.”