Milton Hershey School Students Attend Global Leadership Summit

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MHS students contribute to collaborative spirit of Switzerland leadership conference.

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“Our students enthusiastically jumped right into the conference and were positive contributors and leaders within their teams.” - Ed Varner, trip chaperone and Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Milton Hershey School

A group of 23 rising Milton Hershey School sophomores and juniors recently returned from a 10-day Multicultural and Global Education awareness trip to Switzerland and Austria, where they attended Education First’s Global Leadership Summit examining ‘The Power of Communication.’

The summit, a two-day leadership conference held in Davos, Switzerland, gave students the opportunity to attend expert-led workshops, hear from world-renowned speakers on the ways that society can best harness the power of communication, and collaborate with over 1,000 other students from around the world. They also learned about the power of and factors affecting communication today, including the continually evolving media, social media, music, language, and art landscapes.

During the summit, students competed amongst themselves within teams and were challenged to develop a new way to solve problems by harnessing ‘the power of communication’ and using design thinking, an approach incorporated into Milton Hershey School’s curriculum and used by some of the world’s leading brands such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and GE. By collaborating with students from around the world, MHS students were encouraged to share their unique perspectives. Rising sophomores, Maggie Creech and Nick Khololeynko were members of teams that reached the top 10 and semi-finals, respectively.

Students interacted with, listened to, and were coached by keynote speakers and visionaries including, Ann Curry, an American journalist and photojournalist focused on human suffering in war zones and natural disasters; Clint Smith, an award-winning author and cohost of the Pod Save the People podcast; and Kai Kight, a classical violinist turned innovative composer.

“Our students enthusiastically jumped right into the conference and were positive contributors and leaders within their teams,” said Ed Varner, trip chaperone and Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Milton Hershey School. “They each carried with them the MHS Sacred Values and were careful to look after one another throughout the trip. Their kindness to each other and those that we encountered spoke volumes about their character and our commitment to developing student leaders with a world view.”

In addition to attending the summit, students explored famous landmarks across Austria and Switzerland. They began their trip in Vienna, Austria’s capital, where they visited Haus der Musik, the first museum of sound and music in Austria, followed by time in Salzburg and Innsbruck.

As they reflect on their time at the conference, students are preparing presentations to share their experiences with teachers and classmates at the start of the coming school year.

Milton Hershey School’s Multicultural and Global Education initiative provides all high school students with opportunities to gain worldly experiences and global awareness through international trips. For more information, visit mhskids.org.

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Elizabeth Kolln
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