Students from foster system get star treatment at Musikfest

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WPVI) -- Darius Rucker and his band are taking the stage Friday night at Musikfest in Bethlehem. And in the audience will be a special group of young people, whose lives have been nothing to sing about.

That's exactly why they're getting the star treatment.

The teens and young adults are in the front row, getting VIP treatment thanks to Musikfest sponsor PNC Bank.

Patrick Hockenberry says, "Honestly, I've been looking forward to this all week."

Hockenberry has bounced around the foster care system for much of his life. He and others in the group are now learning about possible careers.

The opportunity was also helped by the Valley Youth House, a non-profit that fosters growth and independence for those at risk, which has helped stabilize the home lives of these students.

"They help me out with living arrangements. I have money saved up in my bank account, working on getting a car soon. Everything is falling in place. A couple years ago I didn't think I was gonna get this far," Hockenberry said.

Lauren Allen of PNC says, "What they are learning about are careers in the entertainment industry, with the focus on STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Really, it all comes together in the entertainment industry."

The message to these teens and young adults is to follow your heart and passion if possible. It'll help you succeed.

But for Hockenberry, just being at Musikfest has touched his heart.

"I call them heart prints, and I got that from my foster mother. She calls them heart prints because they're always gonna stick with you. Because a phone can die and you lose the pictures, but you never forget what's in your heart," he said.
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