In 1980, over a year after dropping out of high school, Verna Foster Harvey obtained her GED. Immediately afterward, she enrolled in college. Due to several military moves in an era before digital technology, Verna attended multiple postsecondary schools, determined to complete her undergraduate studies. To date she’s earned a bachelor’s degree in legal assistant studies and master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration, with a concentration in sociology.
For over ten years, Verna taught political science, which encompassed US federal and Georgia state government, on a part-time basis at Valdosta State University (VSU). During seven of those years, she also worked as a legal assistant, later classified as a research analyst. Verna has diversified job experiences. Having held over thirty different jobs, she’s had the privilege of working with private companies, state and federal governments, and the United States Air Force and Army, as a civilian.
Verna has been married to her husband, Len, for over four decades—love strong since 1979! She has been his caregiver since 2007, when a benign brain tumor invaded their marriage. Depending on Len’s health, Verna’s caregiver duties range from light to full time. They have three married children and eleven grandchildren, both adopted and biological. The combined military service of Verna’s husband and their sons totals nearly fifty years!
Prior to COVID-19, Verna and Len’s volunteer services were physically limited to two organizations. Both mentored students in reading at a local elementary school through the system’s Community Partners in Education (CPIE) program. Verna mentored girls, Len, boys. The second organization was Living Bridges Ministry. Verna co-taught students in Transformations, a program designed to assist students in getting out of poverty—the same predicament in which she and Len once lived. Most students in the program lack education beyond high school; some drop out or quit before receiving a high school diploma, as Verna did. Verna has taught women in Sunday school, retreats, and workshops—including a nursing home, an assisted living facility, a county jail, and a women’s substance recovery home.
Since May 2018, Verna has served as the weekend host of local Christian radio station WAFT on 101.1 FM, reaching listeners primarily in south Georgia and north Florida. Verna has authored three self-published books: Growing God’s Way (2004), The Blessedness of Waiting on God (2007), and Partnering with Caregivers: Learn How to Help Those Who Help Others (2010).
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