December 10, 2009
Posted: 01:31 PM ET
This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Queen Latifah, Centennial Ambassador to the Milton Hershey School – Queen Latifah will also be our guest TONIGHT to discuss what she calls the "greatest story never told" – tune in at 9pm ET!
Milton Hershey, the founder of the chocolate company that bears his name, understood what it was like to grow up too soon. He knew how fate, circumstance and the judgment of others could get in the way of your dreams, but only if you let them. He had only a fourth grade education and started two candy-making businesses that failed before starting the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Milton and his wife, Kitty, sadly, were not able to have kids of their own, but were strongly committed to providing kids in need a nurturing home and a safe place for dreams to grow and flourish. The legacy of Milton and Kitty Hershey, Milton Hershey School, is a promise to children for an opportunity for a better life.
I saw this first-hand taking root in the children I had the privilege to meet in October when I visited the Milton Hershey School. These kids were like the ones I knew growing up. They were smart, interested, eager and full of plans and hope. Yes, they have challenges, but they also have people who want the best for them and, through Milton Hershey School, an opportunity to succeed and realize their dreams. Everything I had heard about the Milton Hershey School, plus the stories shared by the kids and alumni, made me want to be part of their story.
Consider the story of one recent graduate. Her mother suffered from mental illness and was homeless at the time she discovered she was pregnant. The child arrived at Milton Hershey School when she was eight and spent 10 years at the school. Today, she is studying abroad as part of a college program, and is pursuing plans to change the world.
Here is what she recently said about Milton Hershey School: “Without MHS my life wouldn’t have been the same. My passions come from within me, but I wouldn’t have the same aspirations or accomplishments. I am able to have my dreams and goals because of Milton Hershey School. I am who I am because of the school, and I am so grateful.”
It is for these reasons that I am proud to serve as the national spokesperson for The Hershey Company and Milton Hershey School’s “Thank You” Campaign and help them celebrate 100 years of helping kids. It is why I want to help them support children for another 100 years.
Milton Hershey believed so strongly in the power of his school that he dedicated his entire fortune to ensuring its future forever! That’s why he set it up so that every time you enjoy Hershey’s you support the kids. I bet you never knew that! The kids’ thank you, and I do too.
So, here’s what I need you to do…tell people about Milton Hershey School. They already enroll approximately 400 new students a year. To support more kids, they need teachers, chefs, house parents…all kinds of staff to create the nurturing home environment that helps these kids learn and flourish. Visit www.thehersheylegacy.com to learn more and share our story on your Facebook page, tweet about us, and tell friends. Because the more people that know about Milton Hershey School the more we help the kids.
From around the web
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.