Sunday, August 19 at 8:30 a.m.
Imagine yourself a thirteen-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station parking lot and drives off into the night with her lover.
That's the real-life story of country music star, Jimmy Wayne. Jimmy is a former foster kid turned award-winning country recording artist whose songs and story highlight his mission to raise awareness for children in foster care.
In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America (from Nashville to Phoenix) to raise awareness for kids aging out of the foster-care system. In 2012, Jimmy helped get legislative bills passed extending the age of foster care to 21 in California, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Ohio. In 2014 he released Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way, a three-time New York Times bestselling memoir which quickly crossed the 100,000 print sales milestone. In 2016 he received the prestigious Points of Light award from President George W. Bush (41), and in 2017 he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from William Woods University.
Don’t miss the amazing opening keynote Walk to Beautiful, the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy's horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, "She changed every cell in my body."
Jimmy’s hits include “Stay Gone,” “Paper Angels,” “I Love You This Much” and “Do You Believe Me Now,” which earned BMI’s prestigious Million-Air Award marking one million radio spins in America. In 2009, Jimmy toured with Brad Paisley and recorded “Sara Smile” with rock ‘n roll Hall of Fame duo Daryl Hall and John Oates.