Gene and Penny Turner are what Milton Hershey school is all about. Because of their love for each other, the children in their Student homes came to understand what it looks like for a loving married couple to be in love and love the children around them. We learned the value of hard work and consistency and how to balance that with fun. Dignity, fairness, and resilience were unspoken mottos that all who crossed their paths saw exemplified in them. Mom and Pop Turner have always run a loving, efficient, and productive home. Even if we experienced it nowhere else, in their Milton Hershey home we felt respected, cared for, encouraged, nurtured and loved.
They loved and continue to love us ALL not despite our differences but in celebration of our differences and recognition of all we had in common. They genuinely were interested in our welfare while with them and were invested in our future success. They became both the model to follow but also the people we could continue to return home to for years to come. They continue to be Mom and Pop to me and they are Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop to my children.
They are fighters who never gave up on the kids and they are the example of what every American should strive to be. They celebrate all people, show kindness and love. They are hard working people who know how to get things done and just the very thought of them brings a smile to my face and every child who has lived in one of their student homes. We never wanted to leave them but when we had to, we wanted to make them proud.
When I thank Mom and Pop Turner I am thanking them for showing me what to look for in a husband and how to be the best wife and mom. I am thanking them for reinforcing a strong work ethic so I could make it through school to become a doctor. I am thanking them for always giving me a place to call home and go back to when I felt there was no place for me in the world. I thank them for showing me that people of all races and creed can be family and love one another and care forever for one another.
Thank you Mom and Pop!
Tichianaa Armah '95
Tichianaa Armah '95