Tammy Way, library clerk at Bellefonte Area High School
Tammy Way is passionate about many things, but perhaps not more so than cheerleading and a global organization she’s involved in called, Host Ukraine Orphan Initiative.
Way, the Bellefonte Area High School library clerk by day, is in her second year coaching with FAME All Stars cheerleading and was a longtime coach with Bellefonte youth girls cheerleading. She also is a longtime volunteer with Host Ukraine that lead to the adoption of two sons in 2015 – Josh Way, who graduated from Bellefonte Area High School last year, and Kolya Way, a senior at BAHS who is also a member of the Red Raiders cheer squad.
Way said she became involved in coaching after her daughter Haley, now 11, began cheering at the age of 4, and “fell in love with it.” It’s also an activity that includes a lot of traveling from November through May, including destinations in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
As for Host Ukraine, Way became involved with the campaign in 2014 after seeing an advertisement about it online. She saved the information, but wasn’t committed to volunteering until her husband encouraged the family that it was a must-do. Now, it’s one of the most rewarding things in her life.
“I love when we bring them for hosting,” Way said. “We never say you need to adopt these kids, but I love it when parents really connect with the kid and call me to say they want to pursue adoption.”
According to the Host Ukraine Orphan Initiative website, the Kentucky-based organization works with orphanages in the Ukraine to bring children to the United States to enjoy the comfort and safety of a loving family. Way met both of her adoptive sons through the program.