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Dolly Parton’s Dollywood will pay for college for all 11,000 of its employees

Dolly Parton arriving to "Joyful Noise" Los Angeles Premeire on January 19, 2012 in Hollywood, CA
Dolly Parton arriving to "Joyful Noise" Los Angeles Premeire on January 19, 2012 in Hollywood, CAPhoto: Shutterstock

Dolly Parton has announced her theme park, Dollywood, will cover 100 percent of the cost of a college education for employees. This includes both tuition and books, as well as other miscellaneous fees.

Beginning February 24, employees will able to take advantage of this offer from the very first day they begin working for the Dollywood parent company, Herschend Enterprises. Seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees are all eligible. This encompasses 11,000 people.

Related: Dolly Parton, Bowen Yang & Lil Nas X headline TIME’s 100 most influential people list

“When our hosts feel appreciated and are given opportunities like this, they feel cared for and they can pass that feeling on to their guests,” said Wes Ramey, a Dollywood Co. spokesperson.

Dollywood already provides free meals for employees during their shifts and also covers some of the child care costs of employees with kids. Dollywood staff also have access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center.

Parton, a country music legend, has long been known as a humanitarian. She gave a million dollars to help fund coronavirus vaccine research that helped develop the vaccine produced by Moderna.

During the pandemic, she has also read book to kids on social media to help comfort them. Parton also has Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an initiative of the Dollywood Foundation to support youth literacy that gives books to children from low-income families.

Last January, a Tennessee lawmaker put forth a proposal to erect a statue of Parton on the state’s capitol.

“At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is [a] kind, decent, passionate human being?” state Rep. John Windle (D) said after introducing the proposal.

Parton already has one landmark statue located in Sevierville, Tennessee in front of the town’s courthouse.

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