Louisville Scholar House, 403 Reg Smith Circle

[Photo 1: Louisville Scholar House] [Photo 2: Louisville Scholar House]

Louisville Scholar House - a 56 unit apartment building at 403 Reg Smith Circle, Louisville, KY - received $250,000 in forgivable HOME for the new construction of two HOME units in 2009.

The mission of Family Scholar House, the agency who houses clients at their Louisville Scholar House campus, is "to end the cycle of poverty by giving single-parent families the support they need to earn a four year degree. "

On-site services include childcare, case management, academic advising, tutoring for both adults and children, family nutrition and wellness programming, and financial literacy classes. In addition to appliances, each student's room is equipped with a computer and desk. Extraordinary efforts are made to provide supportive services to the father or mother so that they may successfully complete college.

Louisville Scholar House client outcomes 2008 - June 2011:

  • 27 degrees earned by adults
  • 100% of clients exit to stable housing
  • 14 individuals continuing to higher post secondary degree

[Photo 3: Residents showing their school colors]
Residents showing their school colors

[Photo 4: Children of the 2011 graduates]
Children of the 2011 graduates

My Journey
By Elizabeth Scott

Being raised by my mother in a single-parent, one-income home, my older sister and I were expected to do well in school; however, it was not strictly enforced. Discussions surrounding the topic of college were nonexistence. Nevertheless, my mother made sacrifices and did the best she could. At fourteen I was a champion swimmer with numerous prospects. Over and over again I heard said, "You have so much potential!" until I resented it and the, "P" word became a derogatory slur. I fell in with the popular crowd and began to make my own choices without parental guidance, did as I pleased, and barreled straight down the wrong road. It's been said, "One wrong decision, can cause a heart ache for a life time." School became social and non-academic for me. As a result of self-imposed consequences I was officially homeless at the age of seventeen and I barely graduated high school. I moved from place to place and stayed where I could for over a year before finding a one-bedroom apartment that I could barely afford. I got a job at UPS to benefit from their college tuition assistance program and enrolled at the local community college. A university, I believed, was more than I was capable of; if I achieved an associate's degree I would have defied the odds. I found myself in and out of abusive relationships, unable to focus, maintain neither school work nor my job. I was on a road of self-destruction and didn't have much more time at the rate I was going. I cried out for help; something had to change.

At the age of twenty-two I gave birth to my daughter, Nevaeh. We were alone; I was afraid; and I lacked any type of skills to support us. My daughter and I bounced around for the next two years, dependent on other people. I had learned that regardless of where we stayed, whether it was with friends or family, you eventually wear your welcome out. When my son, Isaiah, was born at the end of those two years my mother allowed us to move back into her home. I knew for my children's sake I had to try harder. I was their role model and I had not set a good example to say the least. I enrolled again at the community college. It was slow and steady, one class at a time. I was still dependent on others and again I had worn my welcome out. My school counselor was aware of my situation and referred me to Family Scholar House. I was hesitant at first because I had never been on my own with two children, nor had I ever taken a full load at school. I lacked the self-esteem and confidence to succeed in such a program. Family Scholar House embraced my family and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I earned my associate's degree in May of 2008. With the support of Family Scholar House, I enrolled in the University of Louisville's Kent School of Social Work full-time. Two weeks before Christmas my family received the keys to our first home. We would not be asked to leave and we would not wear our welcome out any time soon.

I continued to receive case management and academic advising over the following two years; Family Scholar House held my hand and paved the bumps throughout my educational journey. My confidence soared as I became self sufficient and worked towards independence. My children were secure and flourished in the family-oriented atmosphere Family Scholar House provided. With the assistance of Family Scholar House I was able to obtained several scholarships, including one that enabled me to study abroad doing social work in Africa for an entire summer. My life was getting better, my relationships were improving, and I was proud to be they type of mother I had become. In May of 2010 I earned a bachelor's in Social Work with Cum Laude Honors and began graduate school only four days later. Today, I am independent, self-supporting, and free of all government assistance. I no longer have to operate in survival mode; I am living my life to the fullest. I have set an example to my children that I am honored to fulfill. Through my story I hope to offer other women the strength and encouragement to achieve their own goals. I am indebted to those who reinforced my foundation, and I plan to carry the message of "Changing lives, families, and communities through education".


Content Archived: February 18, 2014