From our Fayette County Coordinator, Jimmy Earley:
“A few weeks ago I received an email from Family Care Center informing me that they had chosen GleanKY as their Community Partner of the Year. The award was to be presented at the 2019 Family Care Center High School Graduation. FCC is doing so much for our community that I find it difficult not to just stop here and enumerate all of the different work that they are doing. However, I’ll stick with the matter at hand and focus on the High School and daycare.
In their own words, Family Care Center houses a Fayette County Alternative High School focused solely on “providing high school education to young mothers and expectant youth between the age of 14 – 20 years. Young mothers receive high school academic instruction and parenting and life skills elective courses. Transportation and child care are available. The program also offers college and career readiness assistance.”
In my role as Fayette County Service Coordinator for GleanKY, I have been working with Family Care Center for well over a year. Forming close relationships with FCC staff during that time has been one of the highlights of my job so far. Going into last Thursday night I thought that I already had a great appreciation for their work.
I received the Community Partner of The Year Award on GleanKY’s behalf toward the beginning of the ceremony, after Director Joanna Rodes gave a thorough inventory of all of the different ways that Family Care Center uses the produce that GleanKY delivers there, some of which I was not even aware of. Shortly after, the commencement ceremony began in earnest as members of the staff made their way up to the stage to speak. It was immediately apparent how much love the instructors had for these students.
And then, unlike any other high graduation ceremony that I’ve ever attended, all 25 graduates, one by one, came to the stage and told their stories. How they came to the Family Care Center, what their lives were like before, and how their lives had changed as a result of the program. Nearly all of these amazing young women came to FCC from challenging histories, even before considering that they were already or were shortly to become teenage mothers.
The majority of these students had given up on academics, especially in light of being mothers. Many had no faith in their academic skills to begin with. All of the graduates spoke, most through tears and while a staff person stood with them for support, of the difference that was made by having a staff that was completely dedicated to them, that never gave up on them, that taught them patience with themselves and with the process, and above all, instilled confidence and strength in them by constantly showing them over and over again that they were capable of doing the work and completing their diplomas.
I had never seen anything quite like it and I am more proud than ever of GleanKY’s partnership with the Family Care Center.”