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Who We Are

The division provides administrative support, technical assistance and training to local school-based Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC). The primary goal of these centers is to remove non-academic barriers to learning as a means to enhance student academic success.

Each center offers a unique blend of programs and services determined by the needs of the population being served, available resources, location and other local characteristics.

FRYSCs have established a record of success based on improved student performance in class work, homework and peer relations as reported by teachers. Parents, too, report they experience greater satisfaction and involvement with the schools as a result of assistance through their local FRYSCs.

Mission Statement

To enhance students’ ability to succeed in school by developing and sustaining partnerships that promote:

  • Early learning and successful transition to school;
  • Academic achievement and well-being; and 
  • Graduation and transition into adult life.

FRYSC Vision

The Kentucky Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall establish the national standard of excellence in the provision of school-based family support.


Division Staff

Melissa Goins, Director
Mary Jennings, Assistant Director
Mysti White, Administrative Assistant
Tonya Cookendorfer, Data Administrator
Doug Holt, Budget and Contracts Administrator
Melissa Newton, Training Specialist
Katie Morris, Program Planner
Paula Devers, FRYSC AmeriCorps Program Director
Heather Musinski, FRYSC Corps AmeriCorps Program Director

Regional Program Managers

Teresa Dixon, Region 1
Heather McCarty, Region 2
Naela Imanyara, Region 3A
Andrea Pike-Goff, Region 3B
Betty Pennington, Region 4
Paul Cookendorfer, Region 5
Barbara Pettus,  Region 6
Doug Jones, Region 7
Teresa Combs, Region 8
Russell Jones,  Region 9
Lisa Gay, Region 10
Sherrie Baughn Martin, Region 11

Agency News

​The Harry J Cowherd Award for Center Excellence is named for the late Dr. Harry J. Cowherd, former secretary of the Cabinet for Human Resources, and an advocate of the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers’ concept. Dr. Cowherd was the Cabinet secretary during the inception of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 and his vision helped to create the FRYSC network.  He worked with legislators, community organizations and children’s advocates to establish legislation linking his agency’s programs with those of the Kentucky Department of Education. 

The Harry J Cowherd Award is given to a center that has demonstrated excellence beyond regular center operations.

Harry J. Cowherd Award Application