St. Vincent’s Student Takes Top Honors

WHEELING – St. Vincent de Paul Parish School student Abby Thomas received first place in U.S. History at the State Social Studies Fair on April 11 in Charleston.

Thomas is a seventh grader at St. Vincent’s. Her project received a superior rating at the St. Vincent’s SS Fair which allowed her to move on to the Diocesan SS Fair where she received first place and received 100 points, the highest score in her category.

This allowed her to move on to the RESA SS Fair where she also placed first giving her the opportunity to compete at the State SS Fair. At the State SS Fair, Thomas also received first place and a perfect score. Her project was titled “Milton Hershey: Was He More Than A Chocolatier.”

Thomas focused her project on Milton Hershey’s extraordinary philanthropic deeds. His most important was the home and school he founded for orphaned children. Thomas had the opportunity to interview a former graduate of the Milton Hershey School for her project. She interviewed Chicago resident and author, John F. Halbleib

She was able learn first-hand the impact Hershey made and continues to make on so many lives.

When she asked Halbleib how the opportunity of going to the Milton Hershey School affected his life he said, “It was the single most important event, which allowed me to pursue my full potential as a person even though I had been orphaned (loss of my father) and had been born into a poor family with many children. I received a college education, an MM (that is, an MBA) in finance and quantitative methods from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and my law degree (JD) separately from Northwestern University’s Law School.

“I became partner in various prestigious law firms, including Mayer Brown, which is now a global law firm. Most importantly, I am married and my wife and I have four talented and successful children and have three wonderful grandchildren. All of this became possible through going to the Milton Hershey School, together with my hard work and careful planning along the way.”