December 10, 2009

LKL Web Exclusive: "Ambassador" Queen Latifah tonight!!

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 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.

Filed under: Education • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive • Queen Latifah

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Angelot N   December 10th, 2009 8:58 pm ET

Gorgeous! I am an author of children's book Loving Me, that increases our young girls self esteem!

Angela - New Zealand   December 10th, 2009 8:58 pm ET

Queen Latifah you are amazing! Are you ever coming to NZ??? We would love to see you here..... Weekend Love is my all time favourite song. 🙂

Alex   December 10th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

What a great story and what a good cause! Never knew about this.

Alex   December 10th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

What a great story and cause! I never knew this!

Danielle   December 10th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

as an african amierican woman what is your stand on the Central texas walmarts having african american customers arrested on theft charges inorder to "whiten up" thier stores

Njaire Shabazz   December 10th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

Ms. Queen Latifah you are brilliant and well accomplish. It is amazing how you seem to hold it all together. You are smart, funny, cool and beautiful. I always looked up to you as a road model in my life, you took the place of Dianna Ross....Wow! that means you are up there on the scales. I pray for your success and salvation. Be blessed and no matter what comes your way look unto the hill from which cometh your help, your help comes from the Lord which made heaven and earth. (Ps 121)

Diane   December 10th, 2009 10:48 pm ET

I live in Hershey and Queen Latifah is right about the Milton Hershey School. We are a very tight-k nit community. Those who work at the school, those who attend it and the people who support it in the community hold it very dear. Almost everyone in towns knows someone who works there or attends the school so therefore we all have a vested interest.

We are proud to have supported these students and their accomplishments and Milton Hershey's legacy.

Kesha   December 10th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

I think its great that you are spreading on this school. It sounds like it is really making a huge difference in young people's lives. You are a beautiful people and I admire all that you do. Keep up the great work. And I love your new album. I had tickets to your concert but unfortunately it got canceled. Hopefully it will be rescheduled! Love you Queen!

Donna   December 10th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Is this school only for students that are in need.

Kim   December 10th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

I am so glad you are helping the Hershey school! As you said, Milton didn't have kids, so I am one of his great, great, great, great nieces and have been so proud of him my whole life. he was a great man and my mom has memories of him when she was little and "Uncle Miltie" always meant Hershey to me, not Berle.
I hope you can use your place in life to do more for the school–there is lots to share. Could you get his biography into a movie? I know how you could end it–with the battle around the board trying to sell out to nestle, even the Governor of the state was trying to help the school–and the good side won and the school continues.
I would love to help you find personal details from my family–many of the older ones who have better memories are getting older so I hope this can happen soon!

Diane   December 10th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

I'm the mom of a recent "Milt" graduate. Thank you for spreading the word about the amazing school and the most incredible young people I have ever had the privilege to know. I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences Milton and Catherine Hershey provided for my child and believe that every child should have the education my son was blessed to receive. Keep spreading the word about MHS and the great work of the school.

Ann   December 10th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Hello ,I have 2 kids that go to Milton Hershey School aka the Milt...I owe a lot to the school for giving my kids a chance at a great future. It is great that the kids at MHS got a chance to Meet Queen Latifah ..Alot of people dont know about this school and it is the best thing that has come in these kids life at having a chance to become something great . Thank you Queen Latifah for taking time out of your life for these kids

Donna   December 10th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

The Hershey Milton school web site is not working.

Alli   December 10th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

Wow what an inspirational and touching story! The Milton Hershey School sounds like a wonderful cause and I applaud you Queen Latifah for getting involved. Much love and respect from Australia 🙂

Leticia Rojas   December 10th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

Yes Ms. Queen Latifah, Milton Hershey School is the best, I have both of my kids there and I notice a big diffrent on them. I dont regret sending my kids there and more parents that want a better a education for their kids should sent their kids there. They will have a future! My son was there when you when to hershey and he loves you seen he was a little kid. Im glad you when to hershey cause he was very happy to see you from far away.

Sharon   December 10th, 2009 11:07 pm ET

As a graduate of the Milton Hershey School, I can only say Thank You to Queen Latifah for bringing the story of the Milton Hershey School to the national spotlight. It truly is an amazing school and I am VERY thankful to Milton and Catherine Hershey for their generosity in establishing the school and helping to improve the lives of those less fortunate. THANK YOU Uncle Milty!!!

Pamela Flenders   December 10th, 2009 11:09 pm ET

Kudos to Queen Latifah for serving as Amabassador for the Milton Herhey School. We need more people like you to spread the word about the school who helps children live up to their potential. Thank you.
By the way Milton Hershey started Hershey Amusement Park for his employees to enjoy the time off from the factory with their families.

Kate   December 10th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

My niece and nephews have benefited from the amazing support, care and opportunities as students at MHS. It has been wonderful to see their increased confidence and excitement for their future while students at MHS. MHS was the answer to many prayers for our family! We will be forever grateful to the staff and founders of MHS.

Shaniqua Long   December 10th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

I am a graduate of Milton Hershey School and am extremely proud and blessed to have had the opportunities that the school has allotted me. Finally the school is getting the exposure it needs to enroll more students and mold them to become productive young adults within their communities. The teachers, houseparents, and staff are extremely supportive. and are still very much a part of my life. I owe who I am today to Milton Hershey School and may his legacy continue.

"...We're proud of Milton Hershey and vow to that great name, lives filled with strength and honor to add to Spartan fame."

Nicole Williams   December 11th, 2009 12:45 am ET

When I heard about the ignite your persona contest i did all i could to enter... i wrote a one minute track recorded it and shot a one minute video and submited my best 250 words i wanted to be sure Queen Latifah received my entry and when i submitted my entry i didnt get any type of confermation so i went to flavor unit in jersey city to drop off my video and 250 words.... I say all this to say i feel the same way as far as women in the business and all we need is a chance and if i get my chance i will do my best to lead by example, teach and inform my sisters in every way feel free to take a peek at my entry search nicdyme on youtube leave a comment thanks to all for any and every opportunity

sincerely Nicole Williams also on facebook and twitter too =)

Dave   December 11th, 2009 1:03 am ET

I went to MHS. It was hell while I was there (there's a serious dark side), but they paid my way through college. Considering the fact that I had a single mother on welfare growing up and now work for a Fortune 100 company, I'd say I owe Hershey my life.

Jennifer Clark   December 11th, 2009 1:37 am ET

I am also a graduate of Milton Hershey School and might also add a fan of Queen! I can remember back in middle school watching 'Livin Single' with the girls in my student home!

I grew up at MHS, attending for 9 years, and am extremely proud of it. MHS is truly a unique place. A place that is and will forever be "home" to milts and homeboys. I encourage anyone who is first hearing about the school to really take the time to learn more about it, get involved and spread the word of Milton Hershey's Legacy!

"His deeds are his monument. His life; our inspiration."

PRINCESSCAPRICE08   December 11th, 2009 1:51 am ET

Queen you inspire me. I'm so glad that you are helping the children of Hershey. I come from a ruff back ground growing up, both of my parents were addicted to crack cocaine and I know how important it is to have someone who cares.

TUNDE ADEDAYO FASANYA   December 11th, 2009 4:58 am ET

Queen you are a real Ambassador, I have been following your carrier since 90s, and you are still flourishing glory be to GOD. I enjoy your statement in this interview, It is well with you and your soul.

William   December 11th, 2009 6:41 am ET

WTF? This is the same gangsta rapper whose lyrics advocated the killing of LA policemen. Wake up America! Did you notice the gang sign she flashed while being photographed with the kids? Why do we appease these low-life celebrities? I will never buy any Hershey products again.

Steve Alto   December 11th, 2009 9:15 am ET

Amazing story. How one man's generosity can be felt so many years later, and still be doing so much good for so many people, is just incredible. Milton Hershey School sounds terrif and Queen Latifah is the perfect ambassador. She's awesome.

Aimee   December 11th, 2009 9:22 am ET

As a former Milt, it's a wonderful thing that the Queen is doing! SO many families are helped by the school!! Many thanks for taking the time to tell about a place so wonderful!

Don of Columbus   December 11th, 2009 11:00 am ET

Thank you for taking the time to talk about the Milton Hershey School and what a great thing that Mr. and Mrs. ZHershey did by starting the school. I graduated from there along with my brother and my step-brother. I am quite positive that without the love of the Hersheys and their legacy we would not be who we are today. Keep passing the word and help out another child. Thank you once again. Forever a Milt.

Jim McKendrick   December 11th, 2009 11:06 am ET

Great story on the wonderful work done by the Hershey School. Mr. Hershey was impressed with the philanthropy of Stephen Girard in founding Girard College and decided to model his school after ours.
We opened in 1848 and, unfortunately, remain one of the best kept secrets in America.
With limited resources, we continue to provide full scholarships to children in need for an excellent education and residential environment . We are proud of the 20,000 + graduates Girard has enabled to enter life as educated, productive and caring citizens.

Our newly installed president, Autumn Adkins, has the goal of making Girard College the premiere school for educating disadvantaged youth. She has the talents to do so. Financial assistance from concerned citizens will assure her success.

Stop by and see us. You'll be amazed! Autumn's number is 215-787-2601.

Rean   December 11th, 2009 11:24 am ET

I grew up in a household that allowed nothing but Hershey's Chocolate in it. Why? Because Milton Hershey literally saved my father's and uncle's lives. They were orphaned at a young age, became wards of the state, and somehow, by the grace of God, became student's of the school. My father and uncle both became successful engineers. My father has since passed on. But to this day, only Hershey's Chocolate is allowed in my home. I suppose it's our way of paying Mr. Hershey back.

BTW, I cannot think of a better ambassador than Queen Latifah. She is a lady through and through.

MerLynn Rose   December 11th, 2009 12:34 pm ET

I'm a bit late for the live blog, I wanted to stop by and leave a message anyways.

Queen Latifah I have enjoyed your acting for years and love your music as well. I hope to be working with you someday on projects to make this earth a better place.

Blessings to you and yours.
MerLynn Rose

Lizzy   December 11th, 2009 2:21 pm ET

Queen Latifah, I was glad to see you on Larry King show, My grandchild is attending Milton Hershey School, this is her first year, . I am having problem with mother in keeping her at this school .there is a court case coming up. regarding in her staying at this school. I think this is a good opportunities for her . and she is doing so good at this school I notice the diffrent in her already in the few months she been going to this school. I am so grateful that you is exposure this school .

April Allen   December 11th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

I don't know what to say. My daughter was Sydnee Allen that stood along sit of Queen Latifah in last nights show. I am proud of Sydnee and all that she has accomplished at Milton Hershey. She has grown as a person, living up to her full potoential. Her carries a 3.8 grade point average. 19th in her class out of 239 students. Give credit were credit is due, Milton Hershey has made a way for my child to excell. They are a proud bunch and I am glad that I reached deep in my soul and did what was right for my child. I gave her a better chance. The doors are open for my baby and I owe it all to the "Man of Choclate". Now I know why they call them "Hershey's Kisses". Thank you

Renee   December 11th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

La, You are a Powerful Woman...
Thank you for using all that God has given you...
One of my prayers for our children is to make our education system better than what it is...this is why I have been involved from middle grades to college level...and I appreciate your effort in this endeavor...

As always, Peace and Continued Blessings to you.
sending you Hershey's chocolate hugs and kisses!

Bridget   December 11th, 2009 5:29 pm ET

I am also a graduate of the school, a place many of us call it home. It has allowed me so many more opportunities in life than i would have had without the love and support i received while at the school. To this day (23 years later) I still call the school home and my friends from there are my family. It is a special bond that can not be broken. It is the most selfless thing my mother did for my brother and I. I am proud to be a MILT!

Amy McCloskey Tobin   December 11th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

I am a "Milt" Queen Latifah, and I really appreciate your voice on getting the word out. The school changed my life, and every alumnus wants the school to grow and grow and help every child it can. THANK YOU!

Nikki Brooks   December 11th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Although you are just human, when you first step on the scene, I looked to your Afro-centric pizazz and said to myself "I need a new way of seeing myself". Through all your adversities and difficulties you have faced I have watched you. Not wanted to be you but yet, carry that strength you exemplify. I got my! But its important you know there were young sisters during those mid and late 80's that were watching when you stepped out on the scene. So thank you and love you.
your sister in spirit

Olu SOS (Nigeria)   December 12th, 2009 11:47 am ET

Queen ... keep on keeping the good work fresh.... God will be there for you too!
we are proud of you....

Tasha   December 13th, 2009 12:43 am ET

Always luv u Queen keep up the good work

Alice Nyong Ante   December 13th, 2009 5:13 pm ET

Hi Queen, that is quiet an interested story aboutMHS. I must confess you are doing a wonderful job out there. Keep it up! And i pray that MHS will continue to grow to the highest level. Amen.

Sean Christian   December 14th, 2009 3:09 am ET

I my self, am also a former MHS student that has come from a partial family back round that was far less than fair compared to most of the people I know to day.
MHS has taught me a great many things about my self and others while I was there; respect, caring, honesty, team work, ethics, athletics, responsibilities, and education on many different levels in areas that will make this letter longer then you may want me to write. I was very fortunate to have gone to MHS, and I’m very proud to be apart of Milton Hershey’s Legacy!
I now have my own family and my own business that I try to pass on those same values I learned while in MHS over thirty years ago.
I hope you’re able to help more kids in hard ship get in to MHS, I also wish local schools had the quality of teachers we had their. Teachers in public schools seem to only be interested in the benefits/pay and lack caring, real teaching abilities, and leadership skills.
Maybe some one like you can make a difference and get these points across to the appropriate people.
Thank you,

Larry Garner   December 14th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Mr. Milton S. Hershey was the greatest man on earth. In 1909 he started a school for orphaned white boys. As times and politics change so does the law and in the 60's they allowed boys of any race and that was a good thing. Then in the 70's they allowed girls. Not so sure about that. They also took away the orphan only part. Not much left from this great mans will.

Lets jump to now. The school has spent millions and millions on this self promoting of their centennial year. WHY???? While I am sure this Queen lady is nice, why is she needed? MHS needs no praise. They need to support as many kids as possible with the Trust at hand. The Trust is wasting money at a rate that could cause a threat to its future. No oversight and criminal politicians run MHS and the Trust.

Robert Chalmers   December 14th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I also went to Milton hershey shool from 1954 until 1966 I am what you call a lifer. Milton Hershey was one the greatest people of are time. I wish I would have had the oppotunity to meet him. What alot of people don't know is Milton Hershey also started an orphange in Cuba. That orphanage was larger then the one in Hershey Pa. His wife Catherine passed away in 1915 on March 25th in Philadelphia Pa. she was only 42 years old. If Milton Hershey were alive today I really beleive that there would be more Milton Hershey Schools,. However we will never know. When I was in the school back in the 50's &60's there were 1600 Children going to the school and the endowment was worth the 260million dollars today the endowmenrt is worth 8 billion dolllars and has become the riches home for cildren in the world . Unfortionally folks the truth is that there are ony two hundred more ciildren going to the school then when I graduated in 1966. Why is that ? There should be 3000 children going to the school. Milton hershey said in his will bring more children into the school then the trust can afford school . I love the school but something is not right here.

Gary   December 17th, 2009 12:53 am ET

Latifah, Has anyone told you that Jesus Loves you and won"t hurt you like the man did. Read the Bible, God will show you his kind of Love, which can never be unkind to you.

Brian Kilpatrick   December 18th, 2009 7:24 am ET

Both my sister and I attended MHS. Someone posted something about a "dark side" and that may be true for some – it was briefly for my sister. However, we both agree that Milton Hershey School was the best thing that happened to us. How many people can say they have hundreds of brothers and sisters?? As alumni, we all have that special distinction. We have a special bond that no other school in this world has. We continue to support each other throughout our lives, and when we get together after many years, it is as if we've never been apart. Milton and Catherine Hershey were truly amazing people, and I thank God every day that I was able to attend their school.

James C. Taliaferro, M.S., QMHP   December 19th, 2009 1:15 pm ET

Milton Hershey School sounds like it does just a good a job for the population that it serves as does Harvey Milk. Hail to the Queen.

Ousmane Kere   December 19th, 2009 7:43 pm ET

Absolutely fabulous! Fastastic! Inspiring! Noble Cause! The Queen, I lower my hat to you! I don't know how you got to know about the MHS and got involved, however, I want to thank you so much for sharing this story! I am deeply touched by your humility and stand towards such a noble cause! Thanks to the Hershey's, thanks to the wonderful staff and all those that work so hard behind the scene to make "the hopeless" the precious gems of this world. I'll share the story!

Hylton Josephs   December 21st, 2009 11:06 pm ET

Queen! when are you coming to Jamaica we would love to see you in person, you look so "JAMAICANISH"

Jacqueline Dorcas   December 27th, 2009 6:35 am ET

Dear Latifah i respect u as a nice person helping people. God Bless u so u can keep doing good work. Love u

Jacqueline Dorcas translator from Holland

J MOLINA   January 5th, 2010 9:41 pm ET

What makes her think she's a "queen'? That's too funny.

Mike   January 25th, 2010 11:00 am ET

Queen Latifah, I love you a lot. I hope to meet you one-on-one. You are my kind of person.

adebile mary   February 8th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

Queen, just continue 2 do what you gotta do. Well done! I'm your big fan. Mary from nigeria.

Christine   February 24th, 2010 9:36 am ET

you are a roll model for my daughter who is in form III. May God Bless you for your work

Alexander Hall   June 17th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

Queen Latifah is both a great singer and actress, i love this girl.:*-

Brooklyn Evans   September 14th, 2010 3:37 am ET

i like the voice of queen latifah, it has a mellow sounding stuff in it. """

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