True Inspiration

Following the VIP CASA cocktail reception during the National Conference, I was invited to a private dinner with a couple of National CASA staffers, a couple of key National CASA sponsors and one man who captured us all with his humor, insight and vulnerability.

Jimmy Wayne is a country music singer and songwriter. He’s not only a celebrity spokesperson for CASA, he is working to help foster children aging out of the system who have few options of how to move in to adulthood. (Check out his campaign, Project Meet Me Halfway)

So sit down, grab your coffee or whatever’s your preference, and let me tell you about the rare gem we spent the evening with because you have so much to gain from him and even more reason to love him.

Jimmy Wayne is one of those men you meet and instantly like. He can handle anything in stride, and for good reason. He HAS handled it all. And that makes him accepting of others and almost a Rhodes scholar when it comes to those he meets. Jimmy makes everyone feel special…they way he deserved to feel as a young boy.

Given his life’s journey, thus far, Jimmy should have a PHD in human behavior. He most definitely deserves a Masters in forgiveness and resilience.

I don’t know his whole story. None of us can when you think about it. But I plan to read his upcoming book that comes out this October. Jimmy survived neglect on many severe levels and witnessed horrors you would normally only see in a Quentin Tarantino flick. No lie. What he spoke of during dinner, broke my heart, but made me, and the others, admire his strength.

Discarded at a bus stop, Jimmy lived in an unsafe group home and so he found himself on the streets. An elderly couple with open hearts brought him in to their home where he was give a foundation of faith and encouraged to find his gift for telling stories through music.

This has all been penned though a life of journals he kept while becoming the person he is today. And here we were…a table of women and Jimmy. We were hanging on his every word because he has that magical mix of being honest, earthy, funny and endearing. I swear just looking at him; you could see that young 7 year-old boy.

Conversations at the table that evening will stay there, but their impact followed me home to Chicago.

Walk to Beautiful is co-written with best selling author Ken Abraham and will be released October 7, 2014 which can be pre-purchased through Amazon.

The next morning I was putting a roller in as I got ready for the awards luncheon. That’s when I heard Kathie Lee (from the Today show) mention Jimmy Wayne’s name. WHAT!? She talked about his book, “Walk to Beautiful,” and how much it impacted her. I believe she said she sobbed through parts of it. It seems Jimmy has the Midas touch; only instead of turning everything to gold, everyone he touches becomes inspired. That is quite a gift to be given. May his life as a boy and young man remind us we CAN triumph. And may we take care of all of OUR children. I have said it before and will say it again; every child deserves to feel safe, loved and important. It is up to US as adults to help children see and believe in their potential.

Be the change!

Amy Gregorio 
Your Mrs. International


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