Milton Hershey School Students Build Character and Leadership Skills During National Mentoring Month

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Students build positive relationships with mentors who help them develop strong character and leadership

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“My mentor has taught me valuable lessons such as believing in myself and working hard to succeed,” said Ashley, a junior at MHS.

During National Mentoring Month in January and beyond, Milton Hershey School® employees volunteer as mentors for students at the pre-K through 12th grade school for lower income children. Through mentoring programs, community service opportunities and campus events, students are able to connect with adults who support them and serve as positive role models.

“It’s very meaningful for students to live in an environment where they can see role models demonstrating how to get along and disagree appropriately, have traditions and celebrations together, and support one another,” said Tim Wasielewski, MHS Senior Director of Home Life Programs and Student Life Safety.

Newly enrolled MHS elementary students have access to a network of supportive adults through one of the school’s mentoring programs. Adult staff volunteers help students in grades first through fourth acclimate to the school and residential program by meeting each month and organizing engaging activities that connect to the school’s nationally recognized social and emotional learning curriculum.

Students learn about broad concepts including self-esteem and diversity as well as specific skills such as compromising, making friends, overcoming homesickness and exploring future careers.

MHS high school students can participate in a mentoring program designed by the Student Government Association. More than 150 students are paired with adult leaders who encourage character development, personal responsibility and relationship building.

“My mentor has taught me valuable lessons such as believing in myself and working hard to succeed,” said Ashley, a junior at MHS. “Because of my mentor just talking with me and listening to my frustrations and problems, I am now able to approach adults in a calm, respectful manner.”

By meeting monthly, mentors are building a strong sense of community, promoting leadership, and helping high school students prepare for adulthood.

More information about the school’s mentoring programs can be found at

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Milton Hershey School® is one of the world’s best private schools, offering a top-notch education and positive home life to children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from families of lower income at no charge.

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Keri Straub