Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, you get to know a lot of people associated with the Milton Hershey School – a co-educational boarding school in Hershey, Pa., that was founded by the chocolate mogul who sought to help kids who needed it the most. During its more than 100-year history, the school has become known as not only one of the finest educational institutions in the country, funded by the success of the Hershey Corporation, but it’s grown to include almost 2,000 students – a far cry from when the first few children arrived to the bucolic estate in 1910.
I’ve met quite a few students at the school when I was growing up a few miles away. I also met some great teachers there. And one thing always stood out – their willingness to work hard and achieve much success despite sometimes a troubled home life. In fact, the majority of graduates go onto higher education with no shortage of scholarships and success stories that continue to charm donors and parents who desperately grasp for the golden ticket that is admission.
But in recent years, the school has admittedly suffered a few set backs. The first came in the form of abuse allegations (and an alleged cover up) and now a lawsuit from a 13-year-old honor student who says he was denied admission because he’s HIV-positive. After the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed the lawsuit, alleging that the school wanted to “protect” other students from this young man, Milton Hershey School seems to have a lot of explaining to do.