Dolly Parton has some good news that could brighten and inspire your day.
Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s company has announced that they will begin paying full college tuition for all employees who choose to go. The company also said that even miscellaneous fees and textbooks will be covered.
They added that all 11,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees that work at any of the 25 amusement parks and attractions under Herschend Enterprises, Dollywood’s parent company will soon be eligible for a new program paying 100% of tuition, fees, and books if they want to seek degrees or other educational opportunities. The said program will soon start this February 24.
Watch it here: USA Today/Youtube
“Herschend’s GROW U. will officially launch on February 24, 2022, for all seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees across its 25 US attractions including The Harlem Globetrotters, Dollywood Parks & Resorts (Tenn.), Silver Dollar City (Mo.), Adventure Aquarium (N.J.), Newport Aquarium (Ky.), Kentucky Kingdom (Ky.), Wild Adventures (Ga.), and Pink Adventure Tours (Ariz., Tenn., Nev.),” said by the Herschend in a press release.
The company is partnering with Guild’s Learning Marketplace to make the program happen. Here are the details:
Herschend’s GROW U. offers 11,000 eligible seasonal, part-time and full-time employees and hosts more than 100 fully-funded (100% free) diploma, degree and certificate programs across 30 learning partners in Guild’s Learning Marketplace, including programs in high-demand fields such as business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology and marketing. Additionally, the company will provide partial funding, up to $5,250/year, for 150 additional programs in fields including hospitality, engineering, human resources and art design.
Breaking Good News Alert:
Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Parks & Resorts has announced it will pay all tuition costs, fees, and books for employees who pursue higher education.
It includes all part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees from day one on the job.
— Goodable (@Goodable) February 9, 2022
This is not the first program that Parton has organized; in 1995 the company launched The Imagination Library, a charity that sends one book a month to children up until the age of five. The first program was inspired by Dolly’s father that despite being a very intelligent man, he did not learn to read as a child.
In 2016, Parton explained to CNBC that “The Imagination Library came from a very serious place in my heart. My dad and a lot of my relatives that grew up hard too, big families, they couldn’t actually get a chance to go to school, because they had to work.”
“My daddy couldn’t read and write, but daddy was so smart, he could just do numbers in his head,” she continued. “But my daddy then after he was grown, he couldn’t read or write; he thought that it was just too hard to do.”
“When I decided what I was going to do for a great charity, then I thought well I’m gonna do this: to get books in the hands of children because if you can learn to read if you can read, you can self-educate yourself,” Parton added.
The CEO of Herschend Andrew Wexler said that he wanted his employees to be free from the burden of student debt.
“Whether it’s to pursue a new dream or advance their career with us, we care about our employees’ personal and professional growth, because we believe that their futures should be grown with love, not loans,” Wexler said in a statement. “Our team members’ success is our success – and that’s why we’re thrilled to make this benefit available to all, regardless of their role in the company and without the burden of debt.”