Heist’s role as an MHS board member helps him repay Milton Hershey School for life-long lessons.
From John Marshal Law School:
Despite the death of his mother when he was an infant, moving from place to place with a military father and finally being left with his grandmother in Philadelphia, Robert Heist says life has been good to him because of the special environment he grew up in at the Milton Hershey School. The happiness, support and opportunities the 1989 alumnus experienced from second grade on at the residential pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school made all the difference in his life.
Today Heist proudly serves as a director on the Board of Managers for the Milton Hershey School, and is on the Board of Directors of the Hershey Trust Co.
“I don’t know how my grandmother knew of the school, but it offered me the best education, nurturing and direction I could have ever received,” Heist said. “The school continues to be that special place for children in need from across the country. Obviously, I’m a big supporter, and I want others to know about the school.”
Everyone knows Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Cocoa and syrup toppings, and even specialty treats like the Hershey’s Chocolate Easter bunnies. Maybe you’ve enjoyed the HersheyPark and its 11 roller coasters. But did you know about the school that is on the grounds of the company’s headquarters in Hershey, Pa.?
“Usually when I say Milton Hershey School, no one immediately associates it with the candy. It’s just not spoken of in the same sentence. Yet the school and the trust are doing wonderful things,” Heist said. As a director of the trust, Heist and the eight other board members watch over the major investments that keep the school operating and providing all living expenses, education and special opportunities to Milton Hershey School’s 1,900 students.
Heist brings his law degree, MBA, business acumen and institutional knowledge to the table. “Because of the Milton Hershey School, when I got here to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago, I was relatively prepared to take care of myself. After I got my degree in criminal justice, I was certain I was going to be a police officer, and I took the Chicago police exam,” he remembers. But an uncle in Philadelphia suggested Heist consider law school.
To read more of Heist’s story from the John Marshal Law School alumni: