Dolly Parton Offers Free Tuition to Dollywood Employees Who Want to Further Their Education


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You’ve heard it before but now we know it’s true. The higher the hair, the closer to Heaven, and we’re pretty sure Dolly is a saint.

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood in Sevierville, Tennessee will start covering 100% of tuition, fees and books for any of their employees who want to further their schooling—any, y’all. Seasonal, part-time and full-time employees in Dolly’s empire, including Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Dollywood Cabins and Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, can enjoy this perk through the GROW U pilot program launching on Feb. 24.

There’s no catch. Dolly’s employees can enroll in diploma, degree and certificate programs offered through 30 learning partners on their very first day of work. Subjects such as business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology and marketing are fully covered and partial funding—up to $5,250/year—is provided for 150 additional programs in fields like hospitality, engineering, human resources and art design.

The Dollywood Company’s president, Eugene Naughton, told local Tennessee news outlet WATE, “We know when our hosts are happy and feel cared for that they are going to pass that along to our guests. The creation of the program allows another avenue for us to care for our hosts.”

The company’s tenets include learn more, care more, dream more and be more. “When our hosts strive to grow themselves, it makes our business and our community a truly better place.”

And this isn’t the first instance of The Dollywood Company living their corporate tenets. Dolly’s Imagination Library partners with local communities to provide every preschool-aged child a free book each month, and she gives away over $1 million a year in donations through her Dollywood Foundation.

She read bedtime stories to our children during the darkest days of the Covid lockdown. Oh. And she also gave $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to fund the development of the Moderna vaccine, so she kind of solved a worldwide pandemic, too.

As one of her early songs goes, “Just because I’m blonde don’t think I’m dumb cause this dumb blonde ain’t nobody’s fool.We couldn’t agree more. She’s a shrewd businesswoman who uses her influence and resources for extraordinary good.

—Shelley Massey

Featured image Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library via YouTube



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