Brienna Mundy ’04
When Brienna Mundy ’04 was a teenager, she was living with an older sibling in a tiny home. Resources were scarce. She loved school, but the future was murky. She knew there had to be a better path forward.
Brienna’s family originally explored Milton Hershey School as an option for her brother, but she was the one who was most excited about the opportunities the school offers.
“I loved school and wanted to go to MHS, but I remember weighing the reality of having to leave my friends and fearing it wasn’t the right choice,” she recalls. “I pushed through and didn’t let those fears overcome what I felt could be long-term benefits.”
Brienna learned to thrive in an environment in which she didn’t have to worry about the availability of daily necessities such as clothing and personal belongings. She joined Girl Scouts, Student Government Association, and the school’s field hockey and track and field teams. She also found time to work off-campus and complete an internship at a law firm.
When she graduated in 2004, Brienna furthered her education at Towson University where she studied political science and sociology with a focus on criminal justice. After discovering her passion for working with children, Brienna became a juvenile probation officer for York County Probation.
She loved that job, but after 10 years felt a calling to return home. In 2019, 15 years after graduating from MHS, she now devotes her time setting others up for success as an admissions processor.
In her full-time role, Brienna uses her story to highlight the benefits of MHS.
“Just being open, vulnerable, and honest helps me show people that it is possible to break the cycle of poverty,” she said.
MHS is more than a place of employment for Brienna, it is an extension of her family. Once a month, she visits her former student home and walks to school with students who currently live there. The experience allows her to bond with the next generation of students and stay connected to her former houseparents, Craig and Dianna Cowan.
“It’s wonderful to be able to work alongside them,” Brienna said. “The same things they provided to me as a student, they’re still offering to young elementary girls today.”
MHS encourages employees’ families to become involved in campus life. Brienna’s daughter sees first-hand how students here benefit from the school that changed her mother’s life.
“She’ll never understand what it’s like to be a student at MHS but I hope to instill some of the same values in her that MHS instills in its students,” Brienna said.
Admissions processors, such as Brienna, guide potential students through the application process. Brienna appreciates the opportunity to help others have the same opportunities she had as a student. She encourages everyone who qualifies to explore an MHS education. The school’s stability, she said, is one of its greatest benefits.
“I moved around a lot, sometimes I would move every summer and start at a new school and have to get used to new teachers, students, and friends,” she said. “At MHS, you do not have to do that. The true value of MHS is that it will be here forever. When students graduate, they are encouraged to come back. MHS is their home.”