Cycle for Success

Family Scholar House honors those who beat long odds to be part of Class of 2013

The Courier-Journal

By Mark Keierleber
Maria Patterson was placed in foster care when her single mother’s substance abuse got out of control. Then, the teenager from Jacksonville, Fla., had her first child when she was 15.

Despite the hardships she faced, Patterson never lost sight of her dream to become a lawyer. Now 27, she has graduated from the University of Louisville with degrees in justice administration and communications. It was tough getting to this point, she said, but Family Scholar House was there to help.

Read more.

Buddy Bat becomes author

Business First – March 12, 2013

John R. Karman II

When I first heard that Louisville Bats mascot Buddy Bat had written a children’s book, I thought, how can he type with those fuzzy purple hands?

Then, I discovered that the writer of “A Different Kind of Buddy” actually is Jeremy Sharfe, a special education teacher at Doss High School who has been performing as the Louisville baseball team’s lovable mascot for the past 11 years.

Proceeds from the book are set to benefit Family Scholar House Inc., a Louisville nonprofit that provides housing and other support for single-parent college students and their families. (As an aside, Family Scholar House president and CEO Cathe Dykstra is a huge baseball fan, asBusiness First reported in her profile.)

Those interested in getting a copy of the book can contact Family Scholar House at (502) 813-3086. Books are provided as a gift with a donation of $10 or more.

All donations will support the nonprofit’s children’s programming.

Bats season ticket holders will be able to get a signed copy of the book during the team’s annual open house, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Louisville Slugger Field.

Sharfe and the book’s illustrator, Andrew Kirby, will be available to autograph the book.

The Bats open the 2013 season at Slugger Field with a 6:35 p.m. game Thursday, April 4, against the Toledo Mud Hens.

Community Challenge

Cathe Dykstra Issues a Community Challenge

The Courier-Journal

Monday, February 25, 2013

At the Louisville Scholar House campus, there is a raised garden located on an outdoor patio area. Although plants and vegetables grow in this garden, it is also symbolic of our mission. A plant doesn’t just grow on its own – it requires fertile soil, sunlight, water and attention. If those ingredients are in place, the plant thrives and, in time, may produce vegetables, fruit or beautiful flowers. However, if there is a drought or the plant’s needs are ignored, it will wilt away, not achieving its full potential.

At Family Scholar House, we provide the support and attention needed so that our parent scholars can grow and prosper.

Read more.

Follow the 100-Mile Journey of Kim Andriole

On July 28th, 2013, Kim will run a 100-mile race in Alaska to benefit Family Scholar House. FSH supporters can follow Kim’s incredible journey on her blog. Like the journey embarked upon by our parent scholars, running a 100-mile race isn’t easy – it requires planning, perserverence and a lot of support.

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your time and talents for our families! We look forward to following your progress!

Cathe Dykstra Profiled in Business First

Creating community: Cathe Dykstra finds compassion, provides support at Family Scholar House

Business First by John R. Karman III, Reporter
Friday, November 30, 2012

In April 2011, ¬†Cathe Dykstra’s mother was struck and killed by a distracted driver while getting the mail from the curb-side mailbox of her eastern Jefferson County home.

A short time after the tragedy, the president and CEO of Louisville-basedFamily Scholar House Inc. got a visit from an 8-year-old girl who was living at one of the nonprofit organization’s facilities.

The girl’s simple words of sorrow and compassion struck a chord with Dykstra and reinforced for her that the organization, which provides housing and other support services for single-parent college students and their families, is aptly named.

Read more.

Read President & CEO Cathe Dykstra’s Letter on Human Trafficking

The Courier-Journal – Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank you for republishing the article from USA Today, “Sex trafficking in the USA hits close to home.” This is not a widely known issue; and yet, it is important information to share.

When we announced that Carissa Phelps (, attorney, advocate, author of “Runaway Girl” and a survivor of sex trafficking, would be sharing her story at Family Scholar House’s annual luncheon this month, we were surprised by the number of people who thought this was something that only happened in other countries.

This article and stories like Carissa’s remind us that desperate and vulnerable young people in our own community are susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking. Runaways, homeless youth and those sold by their families into slavery are often invisible to us. Like Asia Graves in the USA Today article, getting out requires getting help from people aware of what is happening. Through education and awareness, we can work together to protect our youth from sexual exploitation and slavery so that we spare the next “Carissa” and the next “Asia” from these horrors and, instead, offer them opportunities for education, support services and the chance to rebuild their self-esteem. We must open our eyes to this growing problem.

Family Scholar House
Louisville 40208

Help Pack a Backpack!

Now through August 10th, Family Scholar House will be collecting school supplies to ensure all FSH students – both children and adults – are ready for the start of the new school year. Donations can be dropped off at the Louisville Scholar House campus (403 Reg Smith Circle, at the corner of 5th and Lee Streets in Old Louisville) or any First Capital Bank of Kentucky branch location.

Items needed include:

  • backpacks
  • folders
  • markers
  • crayons
  • glue sticks
  • small scissors
  • binders
  • pencils and pens
  • college-ruled paper
  • notebooks
  • index cards
  • highlighters
  • pencil pouches or boxes
  • calculators
  • flash drives
  • Kleenex

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Rowe at (502) 813-3086 or

Thanks for your support of our families!


James Peterson | Single dad/student has allies against doubts

Family Scholar House Single Dad and Student Shares His Reflections on Father’s Day

The Courier-Journal – Sunday, June 17, 2012

Overwhelmed, excited and proud are among the emotions I have come to know as a single African-American father raising a daughter and seeking higher education. I am often asked to summarize just how challenging things became for me once I had my daughter. I usually reply by saying, “Things got real!”

Read his full article here.