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Northern Kentucky Scholar House Launches Outreach to Campbell County and NKY communities

Northern Kentucky Scholar House is launching an outreach campaign to broaden its reach and engage potential residents throughout Campbell County.

The campaign will include engaging government, faith, education, charitable and community organizations and leaders through personal visits and meetings, emails, social media interaction and more. Fort Thomas, Cold Spring, Highland Heights, Wilder, Alexandria and parts of unincorporated Campbell County will be targeted, said Tom Guidugli Sr., executive director of Neighborhood Foundations in Newport, which operates Northern Kentucky Scholar House in conjunction with Brighton Center.

"We've done a great job in the river cities," Guidugli said. "But once you get past Newport, Bellevue and Dayton, the Scholar House is not very well known. So we want to get out in Campbell County, start promoting ourselves and letting people know what we do and how we can help changes lives by promoting education."

Located at 430 W. Sixth St., the Northern Kentucky Scholar House opened in the summer of 2015. It provides the support necessary for low-income single parents to complete their college education, which leads to educational success, employment, and self-sufficiency. At the same time, their children are enrolled in Early Scholars Child Center, which provides high quality care to children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. In addition, 48 two- and three-bedroom apartments and an on-site Child Development Center are available.

"Since we opened our doors almost four years ago now, we’ve seen children thrive as they become prepared for kindergarten and parents earn associates and bachelor degrees in their journey to self-sufficiency," said Brighton Center President and CEO Tammy Weidinger. "The parents show their commitment to education every day.”

While single parents are enrolled in Northern Kentucky Scholar House and attending school, they are offered support in the form of:

  • Housing, where Section 8 subsidy will keep housing costs low for 48 apartments
  • Educational and economic support program, where parents are connected with other existing economic supports, such as child care assistance, food stamps, work study programs, financial aid, and provided life skills consisting of on-site workshops and activities that support parents in their roles as students, parents, heads of household, and future employees
  • On-site Child Care provided by Brighton Center, where children from 6 weeks to school age receive care in an enriching environment (licensed and five STAR rated Center) while the parent is in school

Other Scholar Houses operate in Greater Cincinnati, but the Newport location offers the only daycare on site.

"For residents, the daycare is literally within steps of their door," Guidugli said. "It's so convenient. That's just one aspect of the Scholar House story we want to tell."

Through its education and housing programs, the Scholar House is changing lives.

"It would be an understatement to describe the Scholar House as a great place," said Sophia Depenbrock. "I can honestly say that without it, I would not be where I am today."

Before she discovered the opportunities at the Scholar House, Depenbrock - a single parent - was living with her two kids and had just started attending classes in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in mortuary science. She actually considered moving into a small apartment or even a homeless shelter.

"I was looking at studio apartments and thinking ‘my kids and I will sleep in one bed, but we will make it through’," Depenbrock recalled. "Instead, I was welcomed into a place with a washer and dryer, clean carpet, and people who care about me and want me to succeed. Without the Scholar House, being in school would not have been an option.

"I can remember walking in to the Scholar House and gaining the confidence that this could work. It gave me hope. I could stay in school, have time with my kids, and afford a life on my own," she said. "Scholar House has given me the building blocks to create a foundation that can get me ahead. I’m building a future for me and my kids, one block at a time."

-Staff report