Alumni Stories

Life Cycle Video

This video captures the story of how Milton Hershey School transforms students and changes lives. In this poignant, heartfelt account, young students and alumni share their personal stories of how Milton Hershey School helped them transcend misfortune to seek richer, fuller lives.


Amanda DuCharmeAmanda DuCharme Class of '13

Amanda came to MHS in 2006. While a student at MHS, she participated in the Dearden Leadership Academy and was a recipient of the Visionary Award. She is currently a sophomore at Susquehanna University studying French and creative writing, and will soon be studying abroad in a French-speaking country. Amanda returns to MHS as much as possible to participate in events.

Amanda would like prospective parents to know that “MHS provides for kids in a way other than financially. The MHS community is like a safety net for its students. By providing programs and responsibilities for students that can be found nowhere else, students learn how to be independent. “


Mario ChristianMario Christian Class of '96

“MHS provided me with skills sets, structure and foundation to be successful at a post-secondary school.”

Mario received his bachelor’s degree from State University of New York and is now a CPA, Assistant Controller for a real estate development and management company. While at MHS, Mario remembers that long walk from Catherine Hall to his student home. His fondest memory is graduation. He left the comfort and safety of all his fellow classmates and campus to enter a world which MHS had prepared him for.

Mario would like to tell prospective parents and sponsors not to be afraid. Entrust the wellbeing of their child to MHS. MHS will provide for them and give them an opportunity to possess a world-class education.


Chuck and Cyndi SeidelChuck and Cyndi Seidel Class of '87

Chuck and Cyndi both attribute their success in life to MHS. Chuck is a Lt. Col in the U.S. Air Force and Cyndi a certified medical assistant. MHS allowed them a chance to experience sports and opportunities they otherwise would not have had.

“MHS changed my life in EVERY way. From work ethic to cultural diversity. I owe who I am today to the school, its teachers, coaches and house parents.” –Chuck

“The opportunities and selfless giving provided at this school will forever change a child’s life.” –Cyndi


Jeffrey Sypolt ’77Jeffrey Sypolt ’77 Class of '77

“MHS changed my life by instilling in me discipline, a strong work ethic, a willingness to be open to diverse associations, and most of all personal courage.”

Jeffrey is the chief of Occupational Safety and Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He provides oversight and safety policy for the 11 operation divisions of HHS.

His favorite memories include fishing, hiking and wondering the campus. His first day here, he was welcomed with candy, cookies, and ice cream from Dr. Hershey. Far from his expectations of seeing Dr. Hershey for a shot! He went back at least two more times for those goodies and was probably one of few Milts to have his name in Dr. Hershey’s visitor book so often.


Arielle SimoncelliArielle Simoncelli Class of '07

Arielle resides in Washington D.C, and is a Health Policy Worker.  She and her sister came to Milton Hershey at a very early age, and spent the next 12 years by each other’s side.  Arielle earned the Lifer Award.  “MHS gave me access to a multitude of things and is a great determinant of my success.”

One of her first memories of MHS is calling her mother at age 5, because people (her houseparents) were trying to tell her what to do (her chores).  While at Milton Hershey, she was part of the Varsity Choir, band, and photography club.

If Arielle had the opportunity to speak with a parent considering sending their child to Milton Hershey, she would tell them: “It’s the best, most rewarding, sacrifice that you’ll make.  You won’t have to worry about your child’s future.”


Sultana KarimSultana Karim

Sultana received the Academic Achievement award for 2015.  In May 2012, Sultana graduated from Lock Haven University with a B.S. degree in psychology.  She was the recipient of several scholarships and awards based on leadership, academic excellence, and community service.  After graduating from LHU, she continued her education by pursuing a M.A. degree in counseling psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  In graduate school she was the recipient of the Dean Scholarship, the Opportunities Scholarship, and the Marion Howard and Julia Ward Memorial Scholarship. Sultana studied abroad in India and Bhutan.  She recieved her masters degree in October 2014 and is pursuing her professional counseling license in Maryland as well as working with victims of abuse.

On Sultana’s first day at MHS she was excited and nervous.  “I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had a hard time adjusting to the new environment and expectations.”

MHS changed Sultana’s life by giving her an opportunity to have options for continuing her educations.  If she were given the opportunity to speak with a prospective parent or sponsor she would tell them “It’s an opportunity of a life time.”