The Power of One

A field hockey standout and Dean’s List student studying early childhood education and special education at Lebanon Valley College, Mikayla Poole ’20 will soon be ready to launch a career working with young children. It wasn’t long ago that she didn’t even think she would go to college. 

Fortunately, her time at the Milton Hershey School, a private, residential school for children from low-income families, located just 15 minutes from LVC’s campus, redirected her life’s course. She enrolled at Milton Hershey in fourth grade, but didn’t start considering college until her high school years when she was required to choose a career-focused pathway. A school counselor discussed college visits, majors, and affordability, which planted the seed of post-secondary education.

“I have known since I was younger that I wanted to impact others’ lives and exhibit the power of one,” Poole said. “When looking into majors each school offered, the LVC Education Program caught my eye because of the field experience required each semester, the professors’ knowledge, and the chance to dual major. I was also drawn to the athletic program, which encourages a healthy balance between field hockey and academics.”

On the field hockey pitch last fall, Poole scored five goals and finished with 11 points to place among the team leaders. She also received Fall Academic Honor Roll accolades from the Middle Atlantic Conference for the second consecutive year.

Tyeair Diggs ’20, a digital communications major, also found his way to LVC via Milton Hershey as a student-athlete. A wide receiver and punt/kick returner, Diggs led the football squad in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2018, and was second in the conference with a 22.8 yards-per-game kickoff return average. He was voted All-Middle Atlantic Conference by the league’s coaches, and also competes on the College’s varsity eSports team, competing in Rocket League.

He selected digital communications as a major after Mindy Harmon, graphic communication technologies instructor at Milton Hershey, sparked his interest in the field.

“She allowed me to expand my skills and experiment during her class which helped me narrow down exactly what I wanted to concentrate on in college,” Diggs said. “I've always been good with words and connecting with people I don't know, but continuing to develop in this area will hopefully lead to connections and success after graduation.” 

As career possibilities blossom for both students, Poole refers to a quote from Josh Shipp, a youth motivational speaker who states, “Every child is one caring adult away from being a success story.” 

“Through various trials and tribulations in my life I find this quote to be accurate and inspirational,” she said. “I have had educators and coaches significantly impact my life and ability to succeed. As a senior reflecting on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, it was automatic that I wanted to influence, love, and mentor students to allow their dreams to become a reality.”