Billie and Cecilia

(Harlan, Ky.) – The Harlan FRYSC (Harlan Independent School District) was recently selected for the most prestigious award given to Youth Service Centers in Kentucky. Each year the Cabinet for Health and Family Services along with the Division of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers honors the most outstanding centers across the commonwealth working in schools.

The Harry J. Cowherd Award for Center Excellence is an award honoring a center which has excelled in its vital role serving kids and families. This “Award for Center Excellence” is named for the late Dr. Harry J. Cowherd, former secretary of the Cabinet for Human Resources, and a staunch advocate of the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers’ concept.

Under the leadership of Center Director Mrs. Cecilia Adams and Assistant, Mrs. Billie Hensley the Harlan FRYSC was recognized at the Annual State Coalition Fall Institute Conference for their outstanding commitment to students and families. The duo was also honored at a school board meeting earlier.  

Superintendent C.D. Morton noted that the impact the Harlan FRYSC Center had on families is evident to everyone and was a driving influence in the nomination process. He commented, “Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Hensley are gifted in the way they interact and work with families, demonstrating heartfelt compassion and sympathy for every person they come in contact with. They are resourceful, relentless, and imaginative in the creative ways that they continue to collaborate with various service agency organizations to help stabilize the foundation of so many of our families. 

Additionally, they have helped advance the mission of FRYSC by leading the center in such a way that makes everyone proud of their work. Over the course of the last 18 months the Harlan FRYSC Center has purposely and effectively engaged our faculty and staff to be partners in their efforts to serve families and students. As a result, the growth and understanding within the hearts of our district employees for the community in which we serve cannot be quantified. On behalf of the Board of Education and our local community we are proud of the work they do to partner with our families to help students.”

Director Cecilia Adams was surprised and pleased with the honor, ‘It is truly an honor to receive a Harry J. Cowherd award, and humbling to have Harlan FRYSC join the ranks of the previous recipients.  We are incredibly fortunate to belong to a district that genuinely understands the mission of FRYSC, and a local community that generously supports our efforts at every turn to break down barriers for every student.  FRYSC is a team effort, and I’m blessed to have the best teammate in Billie Hensley.”

The selection process for the award is rigorous requiring a panel of judges with experience with the Family Resource and Youth  Services Center program to carefully review all nominations. Once scoring is completed, the top nominees’ Regional Program Managers are asked to complete a short survey on the nominee. This information and their most recent Impact Report score, is used to make the final determination for selection.