Family Resource Youth Services Centers (FRYSC) Week in Kentucky
To close out Family Resource Youth Services Centers (FRYSC) Week in Kentucky, we want to spotlight our incredible FRYSC staff and thank them for all they do for our students and families. Meet them below!
Mary Beth Steger
Mary Beth Steger is Director of Youth Services, serving Danville High School, Bate Middle School, Anchor Academy, and Sunrise Children’s Services. Her "home base" is DHS.
FRYSC staff fill a lot of roles, she said, including Social Emotional Learning, job application assistance, youth mental health coalition, financial assistance, Red Ribbon Week, Child Abuse Prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, college and career exploration, food, clothing and housing assistance, medical/dental/vision and mental health referrals, and more.
This is Steger’s first year in the office. She began September 2021.
“My favorite thing about this role is getting to know all the students and their families,” she said. “Every single family here has a unique story and can offer so much to Danville Schools.”
“We meet each family exactly where they are,” she said. “This could be through a home visit, in my office, standing alongside them through classes, etc. We celebrate their success and we stand beside them at their worst moments. Whatever it takes, we as FRYSC are there. This is one of my favorite things about the job. Families have often told me, when no one else is in their corner, we are.”
Rachel Hicks is Beacon Youth Service Center liaison, with her “home base” at John W. Bate Middle School. She’s held the role and worked with Danville Schools for six years.
“As a Liaison, I work with the parents,” she said. “I refer them to community partners for assistance that we cannot provide in the office. I assist teachers and district employees in obtaining documents from the parents. I serve the students in the school, by providing them with whatever needs they may have — clothing, food, school supplies, hygiene items to name a few.”
“The thing I enjoy the most about my job is putting smiles on the students’ faces,” she said. “Our goal is to remove non-academic barriers from the classroom. It makes me sad to see students struggling with anxiety. Mental health is a problem for so many students today.”
She said, “I like being a stress reliever for people. Times are hard. It is a joy to help remove some of their barriers.”
About Danville Schools, she said, “I love the diversity of our school system. I enjoy learning about others’ culture and beliefs.”
Jenny Clark is Families First Family Resource Center Coordinator. She works districtwide, with her “home base” at Enda L. Toliver Intermediate School. This is her second year in her role and her sixth as a Danville Schools employee.
She implements programming including family literacy programs, after-school care, preschool child care, health services and referrals and Families In Training. She also connects with community agencies. Her favorite day-to-day task is having lunch with students.
She said, “I work with two incredibly talented women as our community/school/home liaisons and we are some information gatherers! What is challenging is when we are not trusted by a caregiver or a parent. We are often looked at as an entity that wants to pull kids out of homes when really, our role is to keep the kids in their school and take away or mitigate the barriers that interfere with academics within their lives.”
She loves to watch parents interact with their small children during Cradle School. The program is free and offered to all Danville Schools parents of children 5 or younger. If parents of future Danville Schools students are interested in the program, they can contact 859-936-8537 or fill out this form, she said.
“I enjoy being an Admiral,” she said. “I am not originally from Danville and … We were welcomed into Jennie Rogers as parents of a kindergartener and now have three children, all in different Danville Schools. I am proud of where our district has been and where it is going.”
Mary Wells is Home/School/Community Liaison based in Mary G. Hogsett Primary School. She said her role is “to remove barriers that may prevent a child from getting an education.”
Of her 21 years with Danville Schools, she has been family liaison for 17 years.
“I enjoy meeting new kids and meeting the whole family,” she said. “I also like the challenge of trying to meet specific needs for a family and sharing the feeling of accomplishment when we find a solution for an issue.”
“When working with families, we encourage the caregivers to get involved in their child's education. We assist them in getting the information and resources they need, connect them with school staff and outside agencies in order to promote educational success.”
She said she loves the staff of Danville Schools and especially where she works at MGHPS.
“The staff here assist me with assisting families,” she said. “I have a constant flow of donations such as clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, furniture, household goods and an abundance of other needed supplies. I love my job and it is truly a pleasure to serve with this caring, concerned group of people.”
Tesha Bryant is School/Home/Community Liaison based in ELTIS. It’s her first year in the role and with Danville Schools. She is a trained parent educator for the Cradle School Program, which works with families to help prepare their children for kindergarten.
Some of her other daily tasks include helping families find community resources for housing, child care or bill payments, coordinating and finding students who are eligible for dental assistance, finding students eligible for the Happy Feet Program, which provides a new pair of shoes and providing holiday assistance.
She’s also Director for the Kid Hope Mentoring Program, which matches children with a trained mentor.
“My favorite part of my job is that I get to build positive relationships with our students, families, and others in the community,” she said. “The most challenging part of our job is when we face a situation with a family and there is a gap where there is not a community organization, such as homelessness.”
She said, “I absolutely love the team of ladies that I get the opportunity to work with each day. They are the most hard-working and devoted ladies that truly care about each family and their needs.”
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