Legislation establishing college tuition waivers for Pennsylvania foster youth has finally passed! The bill provides tuition waivers at all PA colleges and universities (public, private, and state-related), community colleges, and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, after all other aid has been applied. Foster youth eligible for Chafee grants are also eligible for this waiver, and covers those in care after age 16. The waiver applies for up to 5 years of college and covers students up to age 26.
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Former PA First Lady Michele M. Ridge chaired statewide foster and adoptive youth Memorial Day weekend event featuring country music star
PA State Family Resource Association (PSRFA) celebrated it’s 40th anniversary with special “HEARTS & HOMES xo: An Afternoon with Jimmy Wayne Scholarship Benefit”
WHEN: Saturday, May 24, 2014 (Memorial Day Weekend), 3-5 p.m.
WHERE: The Forum, Harrisburg, PA
WHAT: SPECIAL 40th ANNIVERSARY EVENT with Country Music Star Jimmy Wayne at Harrisburg’s ArtsFest along Riverfront Park! Program featured Allegheny County “We Rock” along with Nashville’s singer, songwriter and motivational speaker Jimmy Wayne.
PROCEEDS: Proceeds benefited the Educational Scholarship Fund which provides post secondary opportunities and training to PA children in the foster/adoption system and provide sponsorships for foster/adoptive children to attend the Jimmy Wayne concert! PSRFA continues its dedication and commitment to foster care through a scholarship fund for continued education. This fund, established in 1988, has grown to include biological/adopted children of PSRFA’s members. The scholarship program is open to high school seniors who are presently in care though a private or public foster care agency in PA or whose parents are “active” members of PSRFA. Within the past 15 years, PSRFA has awarded over $133,000 in scholarships.
ABOUT JIMMY WAYNE:
Jimmy Wayne is determined, generous, serious-minded, talented, selfless and an activist. In 2002, Wayne since had his breakthrough hit “Stay Gone” that captivated country music fans and critics alike.
Jimmy Wayne grew up in Kings Mountain, NC. By the time he was 14, he had been in and out of the foster care system and attended 12 different schools in two years. His mother was in prison, and he had only his older sister, Patricia. It was not an easy life for a bright and gifted child. When he was 15 years old, he found himself in juvenile detention for running away from a group home. At 16, he was still surviving by his wits, and living on the streets, until one fateful day when he met Bea and Russell Costner. The older couple (in their 70s when they met Jimmy) gave him a home, the ability to complete his education, encouragement and most of all, stability and love.
Wayne had always been a writer, journaling his experiences from a young age. He had always loved music, but never had the means to indulge that passion. With stability now a part of his life, and with the encouragement of Bea, Jimmy began learning guitar, and writing songs. He soon found that he was a natural storyteller, weaving complete tales into three-minute lyrics. Jimmy continued his writing while solidifying his education, getting a degree in Criminal Justice, and going to work upon graduation at the North Carolina Department of Corrections in Dallas, NC. Then at 25, Wayne packed up his few belongings and headed west to Music City.
Jimmy was quickly signed to Acuff-Rose Publishing, where the budding writer soon had his first hit, a Top 10 single called “Put Your Hand In Mine,” recorded by Tracy Byrd. Shortly after, Jimmy signed his first label deal, based on his performance of the pop classic “Sara Smile” in the office of music executive Scott Borchetta. A self-titled debut album with the hit singles “Stay Gone,” “I Love You This Much” and “Paper Angels” followed. And after that, his biggest hit to date, the three-week #1 hit single “Do You Believe Me Now.”
As a testament to his star potential, Wayne has collaborated with three of Nashville’s hottest producers –Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood), Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift) and Dann Huff (Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban). Wayne’s vocal showcase on the title song, “Sara Smile”, a cover of the Hall & Oates classic; the effervescent Keith Urban co-write, “Things I Believe,” about the spiritual power of devoted love; and Wayne’s solo-written “I’ll Never Leave You,” about how flashes of frustration need not derail a good relationship are all highlights.
After he finished his “American Saturday Night” tour with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley, he felt blessed and wanted to give back. On January 1, 2010, he began a 1700-mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix, AZ to raise national awareness of at risk youth in the Foster Care system who age out at 18, and without any support, often find themselves homeless. He joined politicians in capitol cities and the Nation’s Capitol to rally Representatives for support. He joined organizations like CASA and FosterClubs of America to speak out for these kids. And he created an organization called “Project Meet Me Halfway” to keep the message going long after he crossed the finish line in Phoenix on August 1, 2010. To learn more about Jimmy Wayne, feel free to visit: www.jimmywayne.com.
ABOUT WE ROCK:
In 2010, Allegheny Country Department of Human Services contracted with Creative.Life.Support to create the We Rock Workshop, a residency program led by Liz Berlin of Pittsburgh-based band Rusted Foot that teaches foster youth to open up creatively through music. With the proper guidance and encouragement, people inherently open up when they are a part of a supportive, collaborative group. Developed between Liz and PA Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, youth participants explore the creation of music and look for meaningful ways to incorporate music into their lives.