help for single moms

About Us

The mission of Family Scholar House is to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve life-long self-sufficiency.

Each year, we serve disadvantaged residential and nonresidential single moms and dads and their children with a comprehensive, holistic continuum of care that meets them where they are and empowers them toward their educational, career and family goals.

All families have experienced poverty, unstable housing and, most often, domestic violence. Programs and services are responsive to the needs of families and are provided for all ages.

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Our History

Family Scholar House was born from Project Women, an organization originally established in 1995 by representatives of six orders of nuns. As Family Scholar House, our name reflects a bigger, broader mission, and comprehensive, holistic services for disadvantaged single-parents, their children and foster alumni. What began with only four families is now a recognized national best practice headquartered in Louisville, KY, serving more than 9,000 people annually and focused on education as a primary path for ending the cycle of inherited poverty.

Our Team

Cathe Dykstra

Chief Possibility Officer, President & CEO

Cathe sees her role as changing the paradigm for work with families in poverty from short-term support to long-term solutions. She has a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University, with banking and financial experience and over 20 years of experience in social services, with the goal of assisting special populations through innovative approaches to attaining and maintaining self-sufficiency. Cathe is committed to promoting the importance of education as an asset that appreciates over time and provides long-term self-sufficiency through career-track employment.

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Kristie Adams M.Ed.

VP, Programs and Services

Kristie has a passion for working with and for children to have a safe and healthy childhood, so that they can grow confidently into their dreams. Kristie Adams has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in psychology/sociology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Kristie has worked with families and children for over 20 years. In her role as Vice President, Programs & Services, Kristie provides supervision to direct service staff, compiles program data and completes grant reports, designs and implements new programs, and provides technical assistance to Family Scholar House, US Affiliates.

Kate Brackett

VP, Strategic Initiatives

Kate is passionate about connecting community members to FSH’s mission to end the cycle of poverty through education. Kate has a Master’s degree in Social Work, with 8 years in social services. During the course of her time at Family Scholar House she has worked directly with our families, public relations, and serves as a liaison to the Board of Directors and the overall community. In her current role at Family Scholar House she focuses on donor and volunteer retention at all levels of engagement. She supervises staff, interns, AmeriCorps and over 1,900 yearly volunteers —providing effective support for the success of the overall agency.

Kellie Johnston

Director of Mission Advancement

Kellie is passionate about educating our community about the amazing success of Family Scholar House and creating models of efficiency “behind the scenes” that allow our advocates and coaches to have the resources necessary to help our families succeed. Kellie has a B.A. in Advertising/Business Administration from Western Kentucky University. She has 19 years of nonprofit fundraising, administration and management experience, and has been with Family Scholar House 4 of those years. She also brings a wealth of corporate experience, including national sales, management and strategic growth/business development to Family Scholar House.

Academic Coaches & Advocates

Our direct program staff works with our participants and families to support and empower as they pursue their educational, career and personal goals.

Community Engagement Team

These FSH staff members work with the community, sharing information and offering opportunities to help our participants and families.


Family Scholar House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible.