Dreams turn into reality this weekend for the Milton Hershey School’s Senior class of 2018, but before getting their diploma, the school honored students with a special celebration.
“Oh my gosh, this is so exciting,” senior Bryanna White said before walking into Catherine Hall.
It all came down to this moment, four years of emotion in 10 minutes.
As the seniors fixed their caps and gowns on the outside steps, their younger peers filled the hallways, anxiously awaiting their arrival. Then, the doors opened and the tears began to flow.
The seniors walked through the halls in caps and gowns, celebrating their success with the teachers who got them there and younger peers who will someday be in their shoes.
“I can’t believe they did it,” exclaimed a younger peer, Jada White. “I know the struggles are real, but I’m just so happy for them. They made it.”
All the students at The Milton Hershey School have seen tough times.
“I’m from Long Island, New York,” Bryanna said. “We moved from there to Queens, Brooklyn, Georgia.”
Bryanna has lived on campus for six years. She says her biggest lesson wasn’t from a textbook.
“I learned how to be passionate to people, kind, always giving back to the community,” said Bryanna.
Her biggest fans are her sisters.
“Jada!” Bryanna said when she saw one of her biggest fans.
“Are you excited for me?” Bryanna asked.
“Yes,” said Jada. “I’m very excited for you!”
“She’s the role model I could never dream of,” said Jada. “I couldn’t ask for a better sister – sisters.”
As Bryanna continued hugging and high-fiving her way down the hall, she said, “Oh my God. Oh my God. Hey! This is Kayla, this is the youngest sister!”
Bryanna, Jada, and Kayla are inseparable.
“We’ve just always been there for each other,” said Bryanna “People know us. We’re like the trio here.”
Now, it’s time for Bryanna to take the next step. The celebration ended and the seniors headed back to the buses. As the sun gleamed against Bryanna’s face as she emerged from the hallway, she muttered under her breath “Ugh, it’s scary, kind of scary, honestly”.
Although Bryanna’s off to college, her legacy lives on.
“It is a spark. It is a spark.” younger sister Jada said. “It’s a spark to see my sister succeed.”
Byranna is headed to Penn State this fall to study to become an anesthesiologist.
There are 218 seniors in the 2018 graduating class from Milton Hershey.
Bryanna and her peers graduate Sunday.