BENEFITING: Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
In my early twenties, my parents surprised me at Christmas with an autographed book of photography by Marty Stuart. Though Stuart is best known for his contributions to country music, he is also an accomplished photographer - a passion he developed from watching his mother take pictures throughout her life. My parents had asked Marty to sign the book “To Charlie, follow your dreams.” Marty grinned and scribbled something down. When mom and dad opened the book to the autographed page, they discovered that Marty had written "To Charlie, follow your heart." Mississippi is home to some of the greatest artists of all time: William Faulkner, BB King, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Jerry Clower, Morgan Freeman, Eudora Welty, and the list goes on and on and on. If we are to continue to have great artists from Mississippi succeed in today's world, we have to invest in their hopes and dreams. I want the next John Grisham or Marty Stuart to come from Grenada. This is my reason for creating the Follow Your Heart Scholarship. I am partnering with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to provide a scholarship to support the youth of Grenada, Mississippi—my hometown— who possess uncommon talent and desire to achieve great things in the arts, just like I have had the opportunity to do. Sincerely, Charlie