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November 2008 Archives

The Boston Globe ran short exposition article looking at the current state of the 'drop the SAT' movement. All of the standard anti-SAT arguments appear- inaccurate predictor of college success, tilted in favor the wealthy (cultural exposure and test prep), use the SAT but assign less value to it in the admission process, no SAT requirement broadens the applicant pool.

Appropriate use of the SAT arguments run in counterbalance- the test accurately predicts college success, the test is only one factor in the admission process; the SAT is the only national measurement we have.

The ongoing 'yes or no' saga surrounding the SAT will never resolve itself given the plurality in college admission procedures. Small liberal arts colleges with a high ratio of staff to applications- and plenty of money for the admission office- can afford the time and effort necessary to evaluate a student's complex picture of achievement and potential. Major state universities don't have the luxury of time, money, and staff. For big schools, the SAT is an imperfect, albeit consistent, yardstick

The problem boils down to this. Without a defined curriculum- dare I say, a national curriculum- colleges with large applicant pools and smaller admission staffs (public universities) need a common yardstick. The common yardstick is blunt and unequal in its application. In many large public university settings, neither the time or money is available for complex admission evaluation.

It all comes down to household income. Household income is also the single strongest correlation to high SAT scores. If you come from a wealthy family, you're more likely to be interested in and qualify for a small liberal arts college. There's something very insular, circular, and unhealthy about this self-reinforcing pattern.

How do you get into this world and cycle if you don't have a lot of money?

More pressing than whether or not to use the SAT in the college admission process should be a mission to design our schools so that household income becomes a weak correlation to SAT scores and smaller factor in academic achievement-- a holy grail.
In our three years of interviewing, we just went to our first open house/visiting day and wished we had attended more. Our day at this pretty, well-kept girls' school began with a warm welcome by the admissions staff and breakfast in the dining hall. From the beginning I knew I would like the school as the fruit was fresh, the pastries delicious and the coffee served with real cream or milk, not those "tear-the-top off the plastic bottom" creamers. Poised, well-spoken students were working the room talking with families about their experience at the school. After an introduction by the head of admissions and the head of school, the parents were escorted to a panel discussion by students and faculty and for a tour while our daughters went separately for their own tour and panel.

We were so impressed by all the young women who spoke to us, most of all because while each was articulate and confident, they all seemed comfortable with their different gifts and styles. We were equally inspired by the faculty, all of whom spoke thoughtfully about the benefits of single-sex education and all clearly had warm relationships with the girls. On our tour confirmed that this is a school that is true to its mission and educating young women who will make a positive contribution to society.

The formal part of the visit concluded with a sit-down lunch with members of the administration and faculty and a performance by a student group. The head of school made a point of speaking to every family, which certainly made us feel wanted. After lunch our daughter had her interview during which members of the faculty were again available to talk with parents. Our investment of a day at this school was certainly worth it as we have a better understanding of the culture and philosophy of this wonderful school that we would not have gained had we just come for an interview.
Editor's Note: "A Parent's Boarding School Admission Journal" appears every Thursday throughout the admission season. Check-in each week to read the Boarding School Mom's latest entry.

A raw, rainy afternoon found us at our son's school for our daughter's interview.  In some respects this was the most relaxing of the school visits as we are familiar with the campus, our daughter has visited several times to watch her brother compete and for Parent's weekend.  Obviously it is a school we all hold in high regard as our son has adjusted so well and is so happily challenged.  Our tour guide was terrific - personable with wide interests and a good sense of humor.  While the campus and student body are large, it feels like a small, friendly community.  Our son's history teacher crossed paths with us and chatted about his class participation and upcoming paper.  At this school each teacher has no more than four classes of twelve students each, so they do develop close and supportive relationships with the
To our family this school is outstanding for its strong academics, diverse mix of kids - socio-economically, racially, geographically and in terms of interest.  Other than bright, the kids at this school can't be categorized.  The faculty are gifted and supportive, and the administration is responsive to students and parents. Finally the facilities are well-maintained and support the academic and athletic mission.  This school is true to its mission.
It was a great relief when the admissions officer interviewing us turned out to be the same person who had interviewed our son the year before.  She is a warm, relational person and one of the best interviewers we've met.  We all felt it was a great visit, and the report back is that our daughter is a viable candidate.  Of course, the admissions officer was also clear that the school expects applications to be up this year; and they already only accept one in ten applicants.  Excited as our daughter is about attending this school, we all realize it is a "stretch" application.

To maintain privacy and confidentiality, our author writes under the pen name "Boarding School Mom" and all family, child consultant, and school names will be changed or omitted. You can reach AQ's Boarding School Mom at [email protected]. 
Editor's Note: We're excited to feature a post by the Boarding School Mom's daughter. She offers her on the ground take on the boarding school admission process.

Going through the admissions process is stressful, not only for the parent, but also for the child. Many parents add extra pressure and stress, but also you hear stories about boarding school. So let me start with this: You are all great people, sometimes you freeze up and don't get to show the admission officer how great you are or sometimes you're just not the right fit for a school, but that doesn't change the fact that every person applying to boarding school is a special and wonderful person.

Having an older brother who's gone through the admission process twice, I knew what to expect, but each interview is different and you have to be prepared to react to each interview. There are millions of things you can do to help you be prepared. I'm going to share some of the things I've learned from personal experience with you now.

In my opinion the most important thing you can do (if you're a girl!) is lay out your outfit the night before. The morning of my first interview both Mom and I were in tears because neither could agree on an appropriate outfit. I can't guarantee no crying, but it's better to have the crying the night before. Lay out everything from your clothes to accessories. This will really help you in the morning: one it means you can get up later, and two it means there's less stress in getting out the door.

A lot of these schools are in really pretty towns so being early isn't a bad thing. As a kid, I get really anxious before an interview and start worrying about silly things like being late, so try to leave early to guarantee you'll be there on time and to help lessen the stress on your child. Another thing I've found helpful is if the school is more then two hours away and you have a 9:00 or earlier appointment, try to stay the night somewhere closer by if you can. We've done this several times, and it really helps. I don't feel as anxious if I know were nearby. Another great thing to do is print off directions the night before!!!!

Look over the view book and application materials the night before. I once talked to a retired admissions officer who said that to the admissions officer it shows you don't really care about their school if you ask a question that's answered in the view book. So look over the view book the night before and generate a list of questions for your tour guide and your interviewer. You want to be the one asking the questions not your parents.

Another thing you can do if you're stressed out about the interview is generate or find an online list of questions you think the admissions officer might ask you. Think about how you would answer them if you were asked. Even if they don't ask you those questions, having thought about your characteristics, things you like to do, and your school can help you in the interview or have a mock interview. Have a friend or teacher (noon-parent) conduct a run through interview. Experience helps so don't schedule your favorite school first. Save it for last and start with a school that is either a back-up or that you're not that excited about or a school you're comfortable at.

Get a good night's sleep! You want to be fresh and relaxed for your interview. I've woken up on an interview morning and felt like I could sleep for eight more hours. You do not want to feel like this. Go to bed early and try to get at least nine hours of sleep if not more the night before your interview.

These are just some things I have found helpful in preparing for an interview. HAVE FUN!

To maintain privacy and confidentiality, our author writes under the pen name "Boarding School Mom" and all family, child consultant, and school names will be changed or omitted. You can reach AQ's Boarding School Mom at [email protected]. 

The boarding school financial process officially kicked off this past Saturday (11/15) with the opening of the 2009-2010 PFS or Personal Financial Statement completion window. The PFS- the information or form gathered and processed by School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS)- is used to report family financial information to member schools. The processing and number crunching results in each family's Report of Family Contribution- the amount of annual tuition SSS calculates a family can afford pay. Member schools award their need based financial aid using the Report of Family Contribution.

SSS offers a list of frequently asked questions about the PFS on their web site. I recommend giving them a read.

Important notes about the FA process:
Applying for financial aid is time consuming. Read through all information available from each school and from SSS. Do your homework. Gather documents and start early. Be transparent open, honest, and candid- in all your data and in your communication with admission and financial aid officers. Keep the FA officers at your schools informed; let them know what you're doing; ask them questions. In turn, they will keep you informed.

Remember, seeking financial is a process, not a recipe. The completion of the process will not produce a specific result. Schools award their own aid based on the competition for that aid. The amount of aid you might receive varies from school to school based on how much aid the school has available and the quality of competition for each available dollar.

The long and short- be prepared to receive more aid from a school where you might be stronger applicant and less aid where you would be in the middle of the pack.

It's been said for some time that America's greatest export is our culture- movies, entertainment and sports (I first came across this notion at a talk given by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith more than 20 years ago). What's interesting is that, as we export our culture, and a larger body of people begin living it, our talent pool for say- acting or athletics- grows.

As American players have made inroads into European soccer, foreign born players are now finding their way into American football. The International Herald Tribune ran an article last weekend highlighting USA Football.

As American football grows as an export and athletes- mostly in Europe- learn the game at younger ages, good athletes, well versed in the game become prospective players at even higher levels of the game. Every coach looks for the advantage- stronger, faster, smarter.

The IHT story focuses on players moving from the European club teams to American prep-school teams (Mercersburg Academy, Kimball Union Academy, Salisbury School, Kent School) and their entry into the highest level of college football- the Bowl Championship Subdivision.
Editor's Note: "A Parent's Boarding School Admission Journal" appears every Thursday throughout the admission season. Check-in each week to read the Boarding School Mom's latest entry.

A lovely fall day found us in a suburban part of New England visiting two very different schools, both of which are viewed as very desirable. The outcome has posed a family challenge and one we'll be grateful to have the consultant aid us in resolving. Our daughter liked the first school and had a strong aversion to the second while her parents had the opposite view on each school.

The first has a decidedly academic bent with strong arts and weak athletics and a large day student population. It is a school where a student takes the prospective student on tour and a current parent tours the prospective parents. Our daughter really enjoyed the international student who gave her the tour. The parent who showed us around had an infectious enthusiasm for the school, and indeed I can see how our daughter might thrive there. However, the adult tour guide said two things that gave me pause. The first was that she didn't understand what people meant when they talked about the fit of a school as she thinks every child would fit at this school. Well into my third year of touring prep schools and having had children in both public and private schools for the last twelve years, it has become clear to me that schools have distinct cultures and personalities and every school isn't a match for every child, so this comment baffled me and made me feel she was perhaps naive. The next shocking comment was in response to my question about disciplinary policy to which she responded, "Well my son says that if you get caught smoking dope, you get spoken to; but if you're not nice to someone, you really get in trouble." Perhaps I'm too provincial, but this approach to discipline captured my attention. This was later explained to me as high achieving kids are terrified of getting in trouble, so they need to be able to make mistakes and learn that adults will still love them and that their lives aren't over. Framed that way, the policy made more sense and I am now open to a "multiple strike" approach. A friend touring this same school with her daughter was told that the school is better off without strong football and hockey programs as they would only attract aggressive students. As luck would have it, our friend's son is a hockey player at another school.

Next we visited a movie-set traditional and lovely school at which children of close friends are very happy. Despite no offer of coffee, tea or a cookie for which we were desperate having had not time for lunch after our first interview, we had a good tour with a lively and enthusiastic guide and our daughter's interview seemingly went well. My husband and I were thrilled at having another solid school on the "to apply" list. Our bubble was burst when our daughter got in the car and announced she hated the school. She felt the lovely façade masked a school where boys only want to be "jacked" (very muscular and fit for those of you who don't have teenage boys) and seen as cool jocks and the girls are pressured to be pretty and not seem smart. (For those of you who are interested in gender differentiation in prep schools and wealth communities Perfectly Prep by Sarah Chase is a fascinating book.) This was apparently triggered by a photo in a year book of a dorm with its male residents lined up outside without shirts yet wearing ties and by the tour guide who was expensively dressed but admitted to not being a very strong student. While we are sure the academics are competitive enough at this school that our daughter is probably somewhat mistaken in her read of the culture, she will not be swayed.

While at this last school, my heart went out to a small eighth grade boy touring with his father. Throughout our tour we noticed this child tagging along behind the tour guide while his father kept wandering off in search of cell reception. Back in the reception area, I began chatting with the boy as the father was still off on the phone. It turns out he is a second cousin to some friends of ours. When the time came for the admissions officer to interview the father, he was still out on the campus talking on the phone. I can only hope he had an emergency at home as an excuse as I have since found out this parent is retired. It seemed to me disrespectful of both his son and the admissions officer.

An interesting difference I've noticed this year from prior years of school visits is that the schools seem to be wooing us much more. All but one school interviewer has sent a follow-up note or e-mail to our daughter, and they seem to be much more in sell mode. While I thought this was because they feared fewer applications this cycle due to the economy, admissions officers deny it. At one school we heard that they expect applications to be up, however the admissions' process won't be as need blind as in previous years due to the reduced value of the endowment. Whatever the reason, it is very nice to have our visits and interest in a school acknowledged.

To maintain privacy and confidentiality, our author writes under the pen name "Boarding School Mom" and all family, child consultant, and school names will be changed or omitted. You can reach AQ's Boarding School Mom at [email protected]. 

During the recent IECA conference I was able to find some time outside of the conference hotel to visit three Maryland girls' boarding schools: St. Timothy's School, Garrison Forest School and Oldfields School.

Visiting schools is the bread and butter of the consultant trade. Visits allow me to check-in and see how my students are doing and I'm able to get a feel and impression for where the school is presently. We all know what the admission materials say. I like to see where the school stands today; what are the happenings and how is everyone- faculty, students, administration- thinking.

Below, I've shared my quick impressions of these three girls schools as each applies their approaches and perspectives to girls' education.

St. Timothy's School
St. Timothy's is a small, safe, lovely diverse campus with a supportive community providing each student with a very positive and well-rounded liberal arts education. I found lots of energy on campus with the Brownie and Spider teams displaying their school sprit in a very positive manner.

Academically St. T's provides a very challenging, college preparatory curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) program (for more on the IB visit: St. Timothy's School: North America's only all-girls boarding school offering the IB). The School is very inviting for a student who would enjoy a small single sex boarding community with horses and who wants success academically, socially, personally. Additionally, St. T's offers some very interesting summer and community service programs.

I found St. Timothy's girls to be a warm, friendly and very hard working students. Administration, faculty, and students were all outstanding and the common areas and dorms were warm and inviting to all.

Oldfield's School
Oldfields enjoys a diverse student body with a college-preparatory curriculum in a rural family-like community. Oldfield's commits to meeting the needs and maximizing the potential of each student.

The school has a fine visual and performing arts program, riding, dance, and extensive extracurricular activities. Students and teachers use wireless lap top computers and smart boards.

For two weeks each year, the school's "May Program" gives each student an opportunity to explore an interest in depth. Each student breaks from their regular classes to immerse themselves in a real-world experience that connects to one of their interests. From the study of biology in Costa Rica, to the business of a horse shows, community service in Peru, or comedy television writing, students select from a dozen different options. The "May Program" has been a hallmark of the school for thirty five years and many Oldfields alumnae have gone on to careers discovered through "May Program."

Garrison Forest School
Garrison Forest provides a very challenging academic atmosphere for girl's in a primarily day school with a small boarding population.

The girls create a lot of positive energy on campus. They were self-assured and presented themselves impressively. The GFS/JHU (WISE) program for women in science and engineering stood out. Johns Hopkins University guides this program to support women in math and sciences; check it out at: . They also offer many AP's, a wide range of electives and extensive art courses (dance, photography) and a full athletic program with turf fields which also include riding and polo.

Day girls are encouraged to live on campus and participate in weekend activities on a regular basis. Each day student I met assured me that they have taken advantage on living on campus for four weeks or they themselves became a boarder for their senior year.

Need help with your boarding school search? Contact Marylou to learn how she can help guide you through the admission process.

EduKick Expands International Boarding Options

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Back in September, we wrote about EduKick and their international soccer boarding schools. In an article that came across my desk yesterday, Joe Coito and Joey Bilotta, EduKick's co-founders, have expanded their international boarding school sports options with the launch of Travel Sport Camp (TSC).

Travel Sport Camp offers students language and cultural immersion opportunities similar to EduKick across a wide variety of sports- basketball, cycling, tennis, volleyball, handball, table and paddle tennis, surfing; multi-sports camps are also an option.

As Joe Coito, president and co-founder of Travel Sport Camp told American Chronicle:

 "Empowering our children to broaden their perspective is crucial in our shrinking world. With the increasing trend toward globalization, our programs emphasize intercultural competence, the ability to understand and communicate clearly with other cultures. This is a vital aspect of the Travel Sport Camp international academy experience for our young participants."

Call For Southern Boarding School Thoughts & Ideas

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Northeastern boarding schools tend to capture a good bit of the spotlight. They're more well known, make more frequent sustained appearances in popular culture (movies, stories, and books) and benefit from their physical concentration in New England. The conflation of wealthy cities and deeper educational roots makes Eastern boarding schools more of an assumed educational option for Eastern families.

But, as we're fond of pointing out, we have good boarding schools across the country- not just in the concentration of New England schools, but seek and ye shall find.

We're currently working on piece highlighting Southern boarding schools; our goal is to present the spectrum of options of boarding school opportunities in the South. Disclaimer, we will work to focus on AdmissionsQuest member schools in the South. That said, we'd love to hear any interesting ideas, angles, stories, insight or topics that might interest you (our audience) regarding Southern boarding schools.

Join the conversation if you've got an angle or insight that might make a good topic for a general article on Southern boarding schools. Send your thoughts and ideas to [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Myron Rolle's Academic-Athletic Balance

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We live in close proximity to a Bowl Championship Series football program (Ole Miss). Even though we love it, we have to admit that athletic priorities sometimes get out of whack and leave you shaking your head.

Alas, the world isn't crazy all the time. I grinned ear-to-ear yesterday afternoon when I read Stewart Mandel's column. Myron Rolle, (The Hun School graduate, 2006) Florida State's great safety and scholar, missed Saturday's game against Maryland because he had to be in Birmingham, AL to interview with the Rhodes scholarship selection committee. We wrote about Rolle's academic achievements and looming tough choices a few months back.

The academic football conflict is rare. But the beauty lies in Rolle's commitment to his studies and his coach's support and belief that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes first. Even for coach Bobby Bowden, athletics don't always come first.

Coach Bowden told SI: "We couldn't be more proud of this happening for one of our players. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance and you wouldn't dare deny him that. I just hope he wins it."

Photo Credit: Lance McCord

A Special Player Finds a Different Route to Stanford and NCAA BCS Football

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Don't miss the Sports Illustrated story about Trinity Pawling School student Shayne Skov and the international route he's taking to Stanford football.

Suffice to say, the story begins in California, moves to Mexico, back to California, to New York, and back to California. Include international living, personal growth, academic ability, athleticism and the serendipitous connections between boarding school faculty members and you have quite a story.

Read about Shayne Skove journey in Sports Illustrated.
Editor's Note: "A Parent's Boarding School Admission Journal" appears every Thursday throughout the admission season. Check-in each week to read the Boarding School Mom's latest entry.

Our second school visit with our daughter was to a single-sex school relatively close to home that has the sports about which our daughter is passionate. My optimism quickly faded as we had to wait twenty minutes for our tour guide and there remained only one hot cup and one cookie to tide the three of us over on a damp day. When she arrived our tour guide was a lovely, friendly girl who, when asked about weekend activities at a school with a high percentage of day students, replied she goes home every weekend. This was a red flag to me who does not want to be picking our child up in rush hour every Friday. She also commented on how well put together the girls at the school are when all I saw was girls in sweat pants and artistically ripped jeans, a comment my daughter, who is slightly fashion sensitive, found shocking. We were shown all the academic support centers but didn't see many engaged girls in classrooms. Once in the actual interview, I hoped the interviewer would talk to us about how the school used their single-sex status to develop strong leaders and thinkers, but unfortunately she didn't. The most interesting part of the day was meeting a family from the mid-west who returning the following week with their son to look at junior boarding schools, so we had a great chat about those options. We all left feeling deflated and disappointed that a school which seemed to have such possibilities felt so stagnant.

The next day we visited a highly selective small New England school, which we all loved and about which our highly-focused daughter was very excited. The campus was lovely, the tour guide lively and passionate about the school, the academics clearly outstanding. It felt right to all of us. Then the terrible moment when the parents go in to be interviewed, and the interviewer asks "What can I tell you about the school?" For some reason, probably not rationale, this signals to me that they aren't interested in our child and just want to move us on. While I am usually prepared for this tactic with a good strategic question, I was distracted because the name of the interviewer wasn't the name on the door and lost my train of thought. Fortunately my husband was in better form early that morning and carried the conversation. As we have found that admission representatives often interview in offices not there own, beware and pay attention to their name. Our consultant, who seems to have a personal connection to someone at every school, did indeed report back that they felt our daughter probably lacked enough extra-curricular activities to be accepted. Our daughter is determined however and plans to apply to this school. We fear it's a waste of $50.

Columbus Day weekend took us to a beautiful part of New England for a school visit. Not realizing it was a holiday weekend, I failed to make a hotel reservation in a timely manner, which left us stranded at a motel with a party in the parking lot in a dying mill town. This is the school my brother had left after two years because he was so unhappy, so I visited only at our daughter's insistence. My spirits were raised by the hot coffee and pastries they had in the waiting room. Somehow, a hospitable reception area always makes me feel a school will tend to my child's needs. To my delight, the school seems to be moving in a positive direction, the party atmosphere seems to have faded with the last century, and we were all really impressed by the friendly students, comfortable facilities and generally happy feeling we got from the school. The tour guide was engaging, had wide interests and seemed to connect with our daughter. The admission officer seemed to like us too and want to spend time talking with us which is always salve to the ego. However what was most impressive is that the coach of our daughter's favorite sport took forty-five minutes to talk with us about his philosophy and show us the athletic facilities. Our daughter was sold. My husband and I are left wondering if there is a decent hotel nearby and how often we'll see our child given how far from home this school is.

If these schools are starting to blur for you, they are for us too. Next we visited a smaller, picturesque school, which has perhaps the best admissions' effort I've encountered. We had loved this school when we visited with our son and were sure our daughter would too. Not only is there plenty of hot coffee in the reception area, but both times I've toured the school, the headmaster has come out to shake hands, there are students available to chat with candidates while they wait for their interview and there are parent volunteers available to answer questions. The academics are rigorous, the students seem engaged, and the school feels like a close-knit community. It is a very smooth operation. It is also a school where the parent and child are given separate tours. (My family has divergent opinions about separate tours. Our daughter and I like it as we can both ask as many questions as we want. My husband believes it's a family experience to be shared. I do agree with him that it's good to be able to speak with a student while touring.) I loved my tour, but our daughter reported that her tour guide didn't seem to enthusiastic about any of the school activities; and she had the impression it was structured beyond her needs. We were interviewed by an admissions intern who was delightful, but I felt that if they were serious about our daughter's candidacy, they would have given us a different admissions officer. Surprisingly the consultant reported back that they did indeed like our daughter, so as of now it's still on the list of possibilities.

We are now halfway through our eleven visits and so far have only ruled out one school. Our daughter's goal is to apply to six schools, so this is positive. We also spent Parents' Weekend at our son's school during this time which has made us more sophisticated consumers but also causes us to compare and contrast the other schools to his school which is an unfair bias on our part.

To maintain privacy and confidentiality, our author writes under the pen name "Boarding School Mom" and all family, child consultant, and school names will be changed or omitted. You can reach AQ's Boarding School Mom at [email protected]. 

Milton Hershey School: A Boarding School with a Distinct Mission

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Milton Hershey School's Founder's HallThe Washington Post published a super piece on the Milton Hershey School Sunday. Milton Hershey is one of the boarding school world's great places. Endowed by chocolate, the school dedicates itself to providing first class opportunities to students whose background and family finances would normally keep boarding school beyond their educational opportunities.

Milton Hershey's fortune allows it to serve one of the great roles that I often explain when talking about the "whys" of boarding school. Milton Hershey serves as the consistent environment for students. M-H supports its students and students know what to expect of the school.

Dedicated to its role, Milton Hershey knows and goes the extra mile in providing the basic family functions that we often take for granted. Like a traditional boarding school for its students, Milton Hershey serves as a safe, consistent environment for its students. Milton Hershey becomes home- providing health, mental health and dental care along with daily safety and structure of a routine that makes sure you know and have time to take care of your responsibilities.

As Milton Hershey communications director told the Washington Post, "Basically, we're looking for good kids in really difficult situations who deserve a shot at a normal life."

With the support of and structures of a family Milton Hershey students frees its students to explore and excel.

The Washington Post piece is long, but more than worth the read; the personal stories are great. To learn more about the school, visit their site.

Photo: Milton Hershey School's Founder's Hall
Photo Credit: Eric F. Savage

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2008 is the previous archive.

December 2008 is the next archive.

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